The two most common treatments for single tooth replacement are the traditional tooth bridge and a crown implant. When the bridge method is used, the adjacent teeth need to be cut down in peg shapes to provide a fitting for the cemented bridge. The method is less costly and works well for a certain period of time. But the installation of the bridge requires sacrifice of healthy teeth, and they could become prone to bacteria or gum infections in the future. Another disadvantage of the bridge is that is does not replace the bone that surrounded the root of the missing tooth. Without the root, the bone slowly deteriorates or melts away.
single tooth replacement – The removable partial denture
Removable partial denture is another alternative for single tooth replacement. However, it is only a temporary solution and not an ideal one. The only reason people go for partial denture is because the treatment is very cheap or if they are waiting for a certain wound to heal before they can get an implant. The problem with removable partial dentures is that they are unstable, and often move when speaking or eating. The do not provide great function and can feel uncomfortable sometimes.
The removable partial dentures sometimes need to be supported with a plastic or metal hook. These hooks can cause periodontal disease which can lead to the problem to loose teeth. The only benefit is that they are quick and easy to install, and do not require cutting of adjacent teeth.
single tooth replacement – The implant
The implant supported by a crown is considered the best solution for single tooth replacement. It is a bit costly but there are several advantages to this method. The implant looks and feels like a natural tooth. It is stronger and lasts for a very long time. You do not need to worry about decay or infections when you get an implant. No other teeth are cut down in the implant procedure, and all your healthy teeth are preserved. The bone is also kept in place preventing the likelihood of a visible bony defect. The implant is much easier to clean than a bridge. It is just like brushing your natural teeth.
The implant can be used for single tooth replacement or applied on multiple missing teeth. The implant is made in an opening in the jawbone that the dentist makes using his instruments. After the implant attaches to the bone, it acts like a root for the crown that replaces the lost tooth. The crown is basically a cap which looks like a natural tooth. The color is matched to your other teeth, so there is no marked difference.
The only condition for the implant procedure is that there is enough bone present in the jaw. The bone needs to be strong enough to support the dental implant. If the bone is not present or weak, a procedure called bone augmentation or grafting is adopted to provide the necessary support for the implant. For a successful implant procedure, the neighboring teeth and supporting tissues also need to be in good condition.