How to Replace a Lost Tooth

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If you’re missing a tooth, you’ve got several options. The least advisable is to do nothing! It’s not just about aesthetics, but about keeping your mouth healthy and strong. Replacing a lost tooth is important to restoring maximum function, maintaining the alignment of surrounding teeth, and preserving facial contours.

 
Your teeth have many important functions, such as: being place holders for your mouth. If you lose a tooth without replacing it, the toothless gap can drift to fill the space and move out of alignment. Furthermore, tooth roots below the gums provide stimulation that the underlying jawbone needs to maintain its form and density.
 
Here are different strategies to replace your lost tooth. The most appropriate for you will depend on a variety of factors that you should discuss with your dentist.
 

Dental Implant

 
Today’s gold standard for tooth replacement is the dental implant. This is actually a tooth root replacement to which a separately fashioned crown is attached. For successful implantation, there must be a sufficient amount of healthy jawbone to anchor the implant and the adjacent gums and teeth must be healthy. Certain systemic health conditions may preclude implantation as well.
 
Pros
 

  • Aesthetic, functional, reliable
  • Stimulates the jaw bone to remodel and rebuild
  • Does not compromise the integrity of other teeth
  • Decreased risk of periodontal (gum) disease compared with a bridge

 
CONS
 

  • Typically, more expensive than a bridge (but more durable)
  • Requires minor surgery and healing time.

 

Fixed Partial Denture

 
Prior to implants, the tree-unit fixed partial denture (FPD) or fixed bridge, was the standard approach for tooth replacement. In this scenario, the two teeth on either side of the gap (the “abutment” teeth) are crowned and the crowns support a “pontic” – a false tooth – between them like fence pickets.
 
PROS
 

  • Provides normal function and aesthetics
  • Less wait time than with implants
  • Less expensive than implants

 
CONS
 

  • Damage to other teeth
  • Greater likelihood of teeth decay
  • Jawbone beneath the pontic may deteriorate over time

 
For more information on replacing a lost tooth in Miami, or to schedule a consultation with our prosthodontist please call 305.935.6066 or contact us here. Our office provies prosthodontic services to the South Florida area including dental bridges and crowns, implants, veneers, and more.
 

Posted: Tuesday February 7, 2017