Many people who are missing a single tooth choose not to replace it. They may think that since they can still chew food without too much difficulty, there is no reason to spend time and money on a new tooth. They might not even be concerned about aesthetics. However, what those individuals may not realize is that even a single missing tooth can have devastating consequences for a person’s oral health. The teeth next to the empty space may drift out of place and cause painful misalignment. The bone that once supported the teeth will begin to deteriorate. Eventually, further tooth loss is likely to occur.
Preventing the problems that come with a missing tooth is often as simple as visiting your dentist to undergo single tooth replacement in Richardson.
There are two ways in which our team can replace a single missing tooth:
A fixed bridge, sometimes called crown and bridgework, is a custom dental prosthesis that fits over the teeth that are next to the empty space. The crowns on those teeth support a pontic (artificial tooth) that “bridges” the gap. A fixed bridge is a relatively affordable option for single tooth replacement, and placing one usually only takes a few appointments. A bridge can even prevent dental drift and restore full chewing function. These restorations may be constructed of various materials, but many patients opt for porcelain because it so closely resembles natural tooth enamel.
A single tooth dental implant is a small titanium post that we place beneath the gum line in a minimally invasive surgery. Following the placement procedure, the surrounding tissue bonds with the implant in a process known as osseointegration. Over the course of several months, that bond becomes so strong that the implant is able to act as a substitute for the root of the missing tooth. When the implant is ready, we place a beautiful, custom crown on top of it to replace the visible portion of the lost tooth.
Either a bridge or an implant can provide reliable tooth replacement. However, we often recommend dental implants in Richardson as the better option because of the many benefits they offer.
Placing a fixed bridge requires that we modify the structure of the remaining natural teeth. That is not necessary with a dental implant.
Since an implant replaces the entire tooth, it is extremely sturdy and natural-feeling.
A dental implant can prevent bone deterioration, but a bridge provides no bone health benefits.
An implant has the potential to last a lifetime, while a bridge may endure for just 10 years or so.
The doctors in our practice are experts at tooth replacement; they are qualified to place both bridges and dental implants. If you would like to talk to them about filling in the gap in your smile, contact our team today to schedule your consultation.