Having a missing tooth can be very discomforting. The lost tooth not only creates functional problems, but might also leave the person feeling embarrassed. There are different dental treatments which can be chosen to replace lost tooth. Prosthetics are used in place of missing teeth which look lifelike and provide practical use. Every case is different so discuss your options with a professional. But here is a general summary of things you can do to replace lost tooth:
Replace Lost Tooth Option 1 – Do Nothing
If you are not too embarrassed about your missing teeth, and do not feel any hindrance in eating, you can always opt to do nothing. When the tooth is lost or broken, the bone melts and other teeth fill the missing gap. You could however get decay in surrounding teeth if you do not get an implant, and brushing around the missing tooth area can sometimes be difficult.
Replace Lost Tooth Option 2- Get Dental Implants
A dental implant looks and feels like a natural tooth. It is a prosthetic replacement of the missing teeth. They are made from titanium and are very strong. The dental implant is anchored into the jaw bone and acts like the root for the porcelain teeth. The dental implants are a permanent replacement for the missing teeth, and greatly help in improving the mouth function.
When natural teeth are lost, the bone surrounding those teeth begins to shrink. This can lead to changes in facial structure, collapsing of surrounding teeth and limited function in the mouth area. Dental implants help in avoiding these problems by restoring the function of the missing teeth, and stopping bone shrinkage.
Replace Lost Tooth Option 3 – Use Bridges
Bridges can be used when teeth are present on either side of the lost tooth. The bridge is a permanent solution to missing tooth and does not come out. The only disadvantage of bridges is that perfectly healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth need to be cut down in order to connect them together. The bridge can sometimes leak and allow bacteria or decay to occur. A bridge is good for replacing one or two lost teeth as long as there is enough support on the sides. If the tooth next to the missing one needs a filling or a crown, a bridge might be a good option in that case too. However, bridges in the lower jaw do not last very long as the lower jaw flexes frequently.
Replace Lost Tooth Option 4 – Get a Denture
This is one of the most economical treatment available to replace lost tooth. Dentures are removable and cover the space left by the missing teeth. They can be worn during the day and taken off at night. Sometimes, partial dentures need metal clasps for support. The downside is that these metal clasps are visible, and the patient might not feel comfortable showing them when speaking. The partial dentures can also shift slightly when talking or eating. The denture should be put in a cleaning solution at night.