The Process of Replacing a Missing Tooth

Missing Tooth New York, NY

If you have a missing tooth, especially one that is hidden from everyone when you speak or smile, you may want to waive it aside. However, a front tooth is visible and gets plenty of attention when you open your mouth. Regardless of the position of the missing tooth, failing to replace it may have far-reaching consequences on your oral health. This article talks about tooth replacement procedures.

Is replacing a missing tooth important?

It is not compulsory to replace a lost tooth, but it is advisable. Aside from the aesthetic effects of an imperfect dentition, there are oral health reasons to consider. With time, the existing teeth will gradually shift into the gap left by the lost tooth, causing crookedness or misalignment. Teeth misalignment can make chewing, talking and cleaning more difficult. Tooth loss can also cause bone loss and decay. Patients with a missing tooth should visit the dentist for tooth replacement, even if it is a back tooth.

The following are options available for replacing a lost tooth and the process involved:

Dental implants

Dental implants are the most sought-after option for tooth replacement. They are highly effective for single tooth replacement, but they are also applicable for supporting a partial bridge or full dentures.

Dental implants require minor surgery during which the dentist will place titanium metal post into the jawbone to replace the lost tooth root. The surrounding jawbone will fuse with the implant post to make it as sturdy as a natural tooth. The final restoration (crown, bridge or denture) is custom-made for the patient and connects to the top of the implants.

Many people prefer implants because they look, feel and function like natural teeth. They require no dental work on the surrounding teeth. They are highly durable and help to halt bone loss that occurs with lost teeth.

Fixed bridge

This is an alternative mainly used when only one tooth is lost. It is less expensive and could provide patients with the appearance and feel of the original tooth. It is called a bridge because the false tooth (pontic) gets support from the two teeth on either side. The dentist will cement the pontic permanently into place. It is natural-looking and presents a cost-effective alternative to dental implants. Since it is not fixed into the jaw, the patient can still experience bone loss.

Removable partial denture

This tooth restoration is usually removed over the night. The partial denture has a plastic or acrylic base matching the gum color. The tooth prosthesis connects to the base. The denture will have metal clasps to connect to the healthy tooth next to the gap. Although this restoration is the oldest, dental advancements have helped to improve their fitting and appearance. It is also one of the least expensive options for replacing a missing tooth.

Final note

If you have a missing tooth due to decay, trauma or infection, you need to contact a dentist about tooth replacement options. The option available depends on your preferences and the number of missing teeth.

Request an appointment here: https://newyorkdmd.com or call New York DMD at (917) 284-9680 for an appointment in our New York office.

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