A major component of routine dental care is a professional cleaning. Because this is typically done by a dental hygienist, someone in this profession typically knows more about the patients' teeth than the dentist or even the patient themselves. This makes a dental hygienist a tremendous source of information about oral health. Take advantage of…
Options for Replacing a Missing Tooth
You should not delay fixing a missing tooth. Ignoring this problem can cause serious health problems. There are possible emotional effects too. The good news is that your dentist has the knowledge and training to perform a few different treatments. Each of these can restore your smile and your ability to chew effectively. Your first responsibility should be to schedule an appointment with the dentist and discuss which options make the most sense.
The link between oral hygiene and a missing tooth
Accidents can cause tooth loss. Hard blows to the face from a fall or biting into something hard can knock out a tooth. However, an individual’s neglect can lead to losing a tooth as well. When daily brushing and flossing do not occur, bacteria can build up around the tooth. Decay can result, weakening the enamel and dentin. There can also be bone loss, causing the tooth to become loose and eventually fall out.
The most permanent solution for a missing tooth is a dental implant. One benefit of this option is that implants can last a lifetime. They are strong and durable, able to withstand wear and tear. Implants also look natural in size, shape, and color.
Implants can have some drawbacks too. Getting then requires two or three invasive surgeries. The total time between procedures can be several months. Implants have a more significant financial commitment too, so people with a tighter budget may have to choose something else.
People with a single missing toothsshould also consider getting a dental bridge. This can work effectively when the teeth surrounding the gap are healthy and there is no bone loss. The dentist will place crowns over the teeth on each side of the missing tooth. An artificial tooth replaces the missing one.
A bridge is not removable and can last up to a decade if the patient takes good care of it. The biting force will not be as strong as a natural tooth. Still, with a bridge, the individual should be able to eat most foods. It also looks natural.
For even a single missing tooth a partial denture can work effectively. Full dentures replace all the teeth in a person’s mouth, but this appliance has the same function for one lost tooth. This appliance consists of an acrylic or metal base with an artificial tooth attached to it. The appliance has clasps on it that clip on to the natural teeth. It is removable, so the patient can take it out to clean it. The denture can revive the person’s smile and bite into many foods.
Choose the right option for your needs
It is nice to know that if you have a missing tooth, there are ways to replace it. Your dentist will examine you to determine what makes the most sense. Evaluate your needs and goals so you can move forward with a treatment that you feel good about. If you have lost a tooth, call your dentist right away.
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