When you have a missing tooth, it’s incredibly important for your overall oral health, jaw health, and face shape to get the tooth replaced as soon as possible. If you’re lucky, you’ll have several options to choose from when it comes to dental restorations, most notably a dental bridge or a dental implant. Which repair is right for you will depend on several factors.
The Way a Tooth Is Lost
How your tooth is lost matters when it comes to choosing the right repair to fill that space in your smile. Some of the most common causes of a missing tooth include the following:
- Gum disease
- Severe infection
- Damaged tooth
- Deep tooth decay
If a tooth is lost because of a blow to the mouth, whether in a sporting match or car accident or otherwise, that’s very different than a tooth lost to gum disease. In cases of the latter, your whole mouth must be cleaned and healed first before any restorations can be done. You can’t rebuild your smile on a poor foundation.
In some cases, the health of the jawbone is not strong enough to place a dental implant within it and a surface restoration is needed instead. This is when a dental bridge comes into play, filling the gap, completing your smile, and preventing neighboring teeth from floating to a new location and causing tissue damage.
Some dental repairs take longer than others. In the case of dental implants, it’s a process that can take months to complete. Once it has been determined that this is the right solution to replace your missing tooth, all preparation has been done, and the implant is surgically placed in your jawbone, healing time is necessary to ensure that the implant fuses with the bone. The beauty of a dental implant is that it replaces both tooth root and crown, so the implant portion must be secure so it will last for a long time. This is, after all, a permanent restoration.
A dental bridge is a much speedier restoration that takes only one or two visits to your Arlington, TX, dentist. The bridge is fitted in place with a prosthetic tooth attached to fill the space where your tooth was. It’s anchored in place with two customized porcelain crowns.
Some patients, even if they’re eligible for a variety of dental restorations, will opt for the least costly repair. It’s always wise to consider your dentist’s recommendation for a tooth replacement, regardless of price – the goal, after all, is to get the most effective, long-lasting solution possible, and that’s worth the investment.
A dental bridge is less costly than a dental implant, but your dentist always works to make every dental procedure affordable and manageable based on your budget, insurance options, and comfort level.
If you have a missing tooth, schedule a consultation with Dr. Alana Macalik in Arlington, TX, to find out what kind of restorative dentistry is appropriate for you. There is always a solution for whatever you have going on with your smile.