It’s a very common problem. So many people are missing a tooth and wonder what they can do to fill the gap.
There are 3 ways to replace teeth that are missing:
1) Removable dentures
2) Fixed bridges
3) Dental implants
It can be a challenge to understand all the pros and cons of the above three options, but for the purpose of this entry, I will focus on the third…dental implants. I will however discuss the other two in future entries.
An implant is really the most ideal way to replace a missing tooth:
1) Dental implants are made of Titanium, which is a metal that forms an irreversible bond with bone. They are therefore compatible with bone. They replace the root of a tooth.
2) Dental implants last a lifetime and have a highly predictable outcome.
3) Dental implants maintain natural bone and prevent bone loss where the tooth is missing. This is very important. If a tooth is removed and nothing is put in to replace it, the space can end up becoming smaller and smaller over time as other teeth will try to fill in the space . To learn more about this, read what happens what a tooth is removed. In addition, you can end up losing some of the bone that originally anchored the tooth in.
I will be discussing what happens if a tooth is removed and not replaced, in a future entry.
4) Dental implants are minimally invasive. When an implant is placed, there is no effect on the teeth on either side of it. However, if the treatment is a fixed bridge, you will need to drill in to the teeth on either side of the space because these are the teeth that will hold on to the missing tooth.
5) Dental implants offer great esthetics.
It is clearly advantageous to choose the option of an implant when replacing a tooth. However, there are certain criteria that need to be met before doing one. This involves analyzing the foundation of the bone where the implant is to be placed to ensure that there is an adequate amount of bone present. After all, when you build a house, you have to make sure it’s on a good foundation before doing so.
It’s normal to get nervous and tense by the concept of placing an implant in your jaw. But, I have to tell you, it’s a pretty straight forward procedure that is done in the dental office with routine ‘numbing’ of the area. Most patients actually find the procedure uneventful!
Is a dental implant the right choice for you? To learn more, read my latest article titled are dental implants for me?
Until next time, keep on smiling.
About Dr. Axelrad
Practicing dentistry for more than 23 years, Dr. Robert Axelrad has owned and managed his own dental practice since 1997. He moved his practice to its current, state-of-the-art office in Brampton, Ontario in 2002 to accommodate his growing list of happy patients.