No one likes an unsightly gap. But what are your options?
The gold standard to replace a missing tooth is the osseointegrated implant on which is attached an implant crown. The implant crown looks and feels like a natural tooth. But because implants require surgery, the implant patient must be in good health and have adequate bone to support the implant. This service is also the most costly.
The second option is the fixed bridge. Here, teeth on either side of the missing tooth are covered with crowns to which an artificial tooth is connected. The bridge is then cemented in place. Disadvantages are that the teeth on either side of the missing tooth have to be reduced to accommodate the crowns and three or more teeth are now connected, making it difficult to clean underneath and a potential food trap.
The third choice is the removable partial denture. As it is removable, the partial denture is less natural than the implant or fixed bridge. The partial denture takes getting used to, it may feel bulky and you may not be able to chew as you would with natural teeth. The advantage is the relative simplicity of the procedure and lower cost.
You may not be a candidate for the implant, the fixed bridge or the removable partial denture. A dentist can best evaluate which options are suitable for a given clinical situation. It is important to replace missing teeth because other teeth will drift into the gap and the entire dentition may be compromised. For more information on replacing missing teeth, call our Long Island dental office for a free consult.