Losing a tooth is devastating in many ways! Chewing and eating the foods you love can become more difficult with a missing tooth. You might also feel self-conscious about the appearance of your smile if you have a gap in it caused by a missing tooth.
Even if you've lost a tooth in the back of your mouth that's not visible when you smile, it's essential to consider replacing it as soon as possible to protect your dental health.
While you're thinking about the challenges of eating and smiling without your tooth, many other things are happening behind the scenes that you may be unaware of, like:
- Bone loss because your jawbone no longer has a tooth root to support
- Tooth shifting because over time, your neighboring teeth will drift into the open space
- Bite misalignment, which is the result of drifting teeth
The good news is there are tooth replacement options for your smile, including a dental bridge or tooth implant. But which one is right for you? Let's take a look.
Dental Bridges in Urbandale
A dental bridge is a permanent restoration that replaces one or multiple teeth if they're adjacent. Bridges rely on crowns that anchor to healthy teeth on either side and support one or more prosthetic teeth in between.
Pros: Bridges are a treatment that's withstood the test of time and doesn't require surgery to place. The procedure is also less expensive than a dental implant.
Cons: Bridges alter two of your remaining healthy teeth to support the prosthetic tooth or teeth. A bridge will need to be replaced in eight to ten years, depending on how you take care of it.
Dental Implants in Johnston
Your Urbandale dentist will place the dental implant carefully into your jawbone during a simple surgical procedure where it will fuse and integrate with your bone over time. Once the implant is healed, it becomes a stable foundation for your new porcelain crown, similar to a tooth root.
Pros: Dental implants are the closest replacement to a natural tooth. They provide excellent longevity because they have the potential to last a lifetime, making them a more cost-effective option for some patients.
Cons: Dental implants require surgery for placement and a few months for integration.