From sports accidents to falls, there are all kinds of reasons people lose one of their permanent teeth and this is not an unusual occurrence. Even though one missing tooth still leaves you with a mouth full of others to rely on, missing just one tooth can change how you chew and eat your food, affect your speech, and even make you self conscious about smiling. Thankfully, it is fairly easy to get one individual tooth replaced by working with your dentist. Check out the three primary options you have if you happen to lose one of your permanent teeth.
Singular Dental Implant
A singular dental implant is probably one of the most common options when someone loses one of their teeth. In order to be a good candidate for dental implants, you must:
- have a generally healthy mouth already
- be overall healthy so the implant can properly heal
- have enough bone available in the jawline to anchor the implant
Implants tend to be made from materials like titanium and other metals that fuse to the bone during the healing process. Once the implant itself is healed, the anchor will be fitted with a prosthetic tooth made from ceramic, porcelain, or acrylic material.
Partial dentures are not usually the most desirable choice for a single missing tooth, but just the same, this is an option in most cases. A partial denture is created with metal support and a plastic base that holds the denture in place. Your dentist will take an impression of your mouth and use this to create a partial with a tooth attached to fill in the gap in your smile. Partial dentures are easy to remove on your own and pretty easy to keep clean as well. However, wearing a partial can take a short adjustment period before it feels comfortable and natural in your mouth.
If you are not a good candidate for implants and do not necessarily want a partial denture, a fixed bridge could be a good option. A fixed bridge is a dental procedure in which a bridging prosthetic tooth is created and held in place by a bonding material that is attached to the teeth that surround the gap. The fixed bridge cannot be removed and must be cared for much like your regular teeth. Unfortunately, fixed bridges can sometimes weaken the teeth that the bridge is bonded to.
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