Options for Replacing a Single Tooth

When patients lose a tooth, whether to decay or trauma, finding an attractive, functional replacement becomes a priority. Who wants to walk around with a big gap detracting from their smile? Patients have a number of choices, including dental implants and fixed permanent bridges, to correct this problem.

Dental implants offer the most modern tooth replacement technology available, so understandably, more patients are opting for this treatment.

A dental specialist trained in implant dentistry, such as a periodontist, can place an implant in a single session in the office. After the initial surgery, the titanium screw-like structure will bond with the bone, becoming a permanent structure in the mouth and replacing the root of the missing tooth. The implant is topped with an abutment, which holds the prosthetic crown in place.

Alternatively, a fixed permanent bridge involves a fake tooth that is anchored to crowns on each of the adjoining teeth. Only the visible portion of the tooth, not the root, is replicated with a bridge.

Dental implants have many advantages in a side-by-side comparison with bridges. Here are a few major ones:

  • Stability – Dental implants anchor the jawbone, which may erode with a fixed permanent bridge. Over time, that erosion can leave patients with an unsightly gap between the gumline and the prosthetic crown.
  • Durability – With proper care, dental implants offer a permanent solution to tooth loss, while a fixed permanent bridge may need to be replaced eventually.
  • Minimal impact on surrounding teeth – When crowns have to be placed as part of a bridge, healthy tooth enamel is sacrificed in the process. Dental implants stand alone and require no support from adjacent teeth.
  • Ease of maintenance – Dental implants are structured just like biological teeth, so you can keep them clean with the same routine you use for all of your other teeth. Brush and floss dental implants just like normal.

Patients who need to replace a single tooth should carefully consider all of their options. Contact the Manhattan office of Drs. Edward Gottesman and Susan Karabin to learn if dental implants are appropriate in your case.

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