When you lose a permanent tooth, it will not grow back just like the time you lost your first tooth. During our childhood years, we lose our first set of teeth because it is replaced by our permanent set of teeth. This is why taking good care of our permanent teeth is important.
Some think that missing a tooth is not a big deal, especially if it isn’t visible. However, even one missing tooth can have a substantial impact on your smile, the function of your jaw, and your overall health. When there is space between our teeth due to a missing tooth, our teeth will begin shifting toward the empty space. This can lead to crooked teeth and a misaligned bite, which then results to temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. The symptoms of TMD can range from bothersome to unbearable, from neck pain and popping in your jaw to migraines and insomnia.
When the lost tooth is in the back of your mouth this can cause wrinkling in your face and interfere with your ability to chew food. This then leads to poor nutrition and a compromised overall health.
Replicating the exact look and function of a natural tooth that has been lost can be a challenge. But with advances in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, along with innovations in materials used, it is quite possible to replace a lost tooth effectively.
Consider the following dental treatments to replace missing teeth:
1. Dental Implants
A dental implant is the strongest, most durable option for a tooth replacement. It is often the preferred method by dentists, although it is also the most pricey. An implant replaces the roots of the teeth. Your surrounding tissue and bone will naturally grow around the implant and hold it in place. A dental crown is then attached to the tooth implant for a sturdy and more natural smile. An implant can also be used to better secure dental bridges and dentures.
2. Dental Bridges
Bridges are recommended if you have two teeth remaining on either side of the empty space. Crowns will be placed on the adjacent teeth, which are used to “bridge” the gap created by a missing tooth. The replacement tooth used to fill the empty space will mimic the look, feel and function of your missing tooth. The downside is that your dentist will have to alter the teeth adjacent to your empty space in order to fully secure the bridge, even if they are in perfect condition.
3. Dentures and Partials
Dentures are typically recommended if you have lost a majority of teeth on either your upper or lower arch; or if most of the teeth in your mouth are gone. Oftentimes, the few remaining teeth in your mouth are pulled and dentures are used to restore your entire smile.
Teeth replacements can be a bit costly, however, consider the many benefits of having a complete and sturdy set of teeth. With a complete set of teeth, you’ll be more confident with yourself and be healthy as well.