If you are missing a single tooth, replacement isn’t just about aesthetics. Filling the toothless gap in your smile helps protect your long-term oral health and well-being.
Replacing a missing tooth restores mouth function and helps maintain proper alignment. Over time, teeth that are adjacent to an empty socket can shift to fill the space, becoming misaligned.
When it comes to single tooth replacement, you have several options. Each method has its pros and cons, but your oral surgeon can help you decide which approach is best to replace your missing teeth.
No. 1: Dental Implant
A dental implant replaces the missing tooth from the root to the crown. This single tooth replacement method comes with several advantages:
- Looks and feels completely natural
- Stimulates bone tissue growth in the jaw
- Does not compromise adjacent teeth
- Easy to care for and maintain
- Can last a lifetime with proper care
Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant doesn’t present many drawbacks. The cons to choosing a dental implant include:
- Initial cost is greater than other tooth replacement options
- Treatment time is longer, as it requires oral surgery
No. 2: Fixed Dental Bridge
With a fixed dental bridge, the two teeth adjacent to the empty socket are used as permanent support for a replacement tooth. The benefits of literally bridging the gap in a smile include:
- Restores normal mouth function and aesthetics
- Requires less treatment time than implant surgery
- Costs less than an implanted tooth
Fixed dental bridges have a few significant disadvantages. The shortcomings include:
- Requires extensive drilling of the teeth adjacent to the gap
- Has greater risk of decay and tooth loss
- Does nothing to prevent bone loss in the jaw
No. 3: Removable Partial Denture
A removable partial denture is like a fixed dental bridge, but the dental appliance is not permanently attached. The pros to this type of tooth replacement are:
- Restores smile appearance and mouth function
- Requires minimal treatment time
- Is the least expensive single tooth replacement option
The minuses of replacing a missing tooth with a removable partial denture include:
- Requires drilling of the adjacent teeth
- Increases risk of periodontal disease and decay
- Presents possible issues with instability and discomfort
- Does not prevent jawbone degeneration
What Is the Best Way to Restore Your Smile?
Due to the many advantages it brings, experts consider dental implant surgery to be the best method of tooth replacement.
However, dental implant surgery isn’t the right choice for everyone. While most patients healthy enough for routine dental care can opt for an implanted tooth, some want to avoid surgical treatment. And despite the fact that dental implants are a practical investment, some patients prefer a less-expensive option.
If you’re ready to replace your missing tooth and you live in the greater Salt Lake City area or anywhere along the Wasatch Front, schedule a consultation with the professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.
Our highly skilled oral surgeons, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, can evaluate your case and help you decide on the right course of action to restore your smile. Contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele and make an appointment to discuss single tooth replacement today.