Replacing a lost tooth is good for your oral health, and good for your smile. If you feel uncomfortable when you think about people noticing that you are missing a tooth, the cosmetic upside should be readily apparent. However, you should also know that a prosthetic can also provide restorative dental benefits. You will be better protected against additional tooth loss, and you can spare surrounding teeth excess wear and tear. People with a missing tooth – or multiple missing teeth – are also more likely to experience jaw problems like TMD.
A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic that is held in place thanks to surrounding dental crowns. The crowns are placed on neighboring teeth, and connect to the bridge to keep it stably placed. This can be a useful option if you are a poor candidate for a dental implant, which must be inserted directly to your jawbone.
Unlike a dental bridge, a dental implant does not require modifications on neighboring teeth. The implant is actually connected with your jawbone, and takes on the role of tooth root for a dental crown. If you are lacking in bone mass in your jaw, your dentist may suggest you receive a mini implant, or they may recommend a dental bridge.
Dentures can replace an entire row of teeth. Partial dentures can cover multiple gaps while still preserving healthy teeth that still remain. Your dentist can review the different options available for securing the dentures in your mouth. In some cases, you can have your dentures held in place thanks to a series of dental implants.