Are you missing a single tooth? Don’t think it’s a big deal? It actually is a big deal.
Millions of people are walking around with a missing a tooth. As a matter of fact, approximately 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth according to the American College of Prosthodontists. Surprisingly, a single missing tooth can harm your oral health. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding teeth will begin to shift to the open space. This can lead to many dental problems such as bite misalignment and make it difficult to properly care for that area. A missing tooth can lead to bone loss without the tooth’s root stimulating the jaw bone. Also, people with even just one missing tooth are more susceptible to gum disease, TMJ disorders and tooth decay.
Aside from the oral health issues, a missing tooth can lead to psychological and social issues. Because of the stigma associated with missing teeth, a missing tooth can lead to low self-esteem due to embarrassment especially if the tooth is visible while smiling. It is unsightly and will make people not want to smile anymore. This can affect their ability to get a job and have normal social interactions.
Options for Replacing Your Missing Tooth
Heather Adams Dentistry located in Rogers, AR can help you replace your tooth by offering a few options. Traditionally, a damaged or missing tooth was replaced with a dental bridge. However, Dr. Heather Adams will recommend an implant-supported dental crown. She prefers this method because dental implants offer predictable, long-term solutions. With a success rate of 98%, a single dental implant is the best option to support your overall and dental health. When comparing these options, you must consider the long term benefits and your quality of life.
Dental Implant-Supported Crown
An implant is designed to replace the tooth root which will preserve the bone better consequently preventing bone loss. Unlike a dental bridge, the implant will only replace the single tooth and does not require degrading the neighboring teeth. A dental crown that is anchored to a dental implant is easier to care for, requiring the same regular care as your natural teeth. While the dental implant itself will last a lifetime, the crown may need replaced every fifteen years but can last a lifetime if cared for properly.
A downside to choosing a dental implant is that the process will take longer than the bridge process. It can take up to seven months or even longer depending on the state of your oral health. The cost of a dental implant is also much higher compared to a bridge.
A dental implant is actually a cylinder titanium post that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone. After the surgery, you will need about three to six months to allow the implant to fuse with the surrounding bone. After this, a small piece called an abutment will be loaded on to the implant. After about two weeks, we will permanently place your dental crown.
A bridge is comprised of two anchor crowns with the replacement tooth (the pontic) in the middle, all fused together. The two crowns are cemented to two anchor teeth which are located on each side of the missing tooth. This is designed to literally “bridge” the gap created by a missing tooth. With a traditional dental bridge, the anchor teeth will need to be grinded down to make room for the dental crowns. You are essentially damaging two perfectly healthy teeth to have a single tooth replaced. A dental bridge is very affordable though and can be placed in about three weeks.
Learn More About Dental Implants