Options for Replacing a Single Tooth
A single missing tooth can have further ramifications for a person’s oral health than just compromising their smile. A missing tooth can lead to other teeth becoming loose, increasing the chances of further tooth loss. However through a range of solutions such as dentures, dental bridges or dental implants, an oral surgeon can not only reconstruct a person’s smile, but can also limit the likelihood of further health problems.
When a tooth is lost, the support it lends to adjacent teeth is also lost. This allows the remaining teeth to shift when pressure is applied to them through actions such as biting, leading to a misaligned bite. This is called malocclusion, and if left untreated can lead to debilitating health issues which can affect the jaw, such as temporomandibular disorder.
Dentures are the most basic form of tooth reconstruction, consisting of wearable hard, plastic prosthetics shaped to the patient’s mouth and with an artificial tooth to replace the lost tooth. Dentures are, however, easily damaged and can severely curtail a person’s dietary choices.
Dental bridges involve an oral surgeon removing parts of adjacent teeth in order to fit a prosthetic support and a dental crown. Dental bridges look more natural than dentures, and also come with fewer drawbacks; they can be cleaned easier, have less restrictions in terms of diet choices, and offer greater support in the mouth. However, food and debris can still become stuck under the dental bridge, making an ideal harbor for bacteria to grow.
Dental implants have grown in popularity in recent years, and offer very few negatives when compared to other methods. Implant treatment involves an oral surgeon placing a small titanium pillar into the patient’s gum tissue, which then bonds with the jawbone to offer greater support to existing teeth than either bridges or dentures. A porcelain crown is then affixed to the titanium rod, restoring the natural look of the smile while aiding in the continued stimulus of the gum and jawbone tissues – neither of which occurs with other reconstructive methods.
This stimulus is vitally important to the health of the mouth, as it helps maintain the health and strength of other teeth; without the stimulus, the gum and jaw bone will begin to degrade, lessen in mass and become weaker, making the tissues less able to support healthy teeth and could in turn lead to further tooth loss.
If you are in need of a tooth replacement solution, contact the Newmarket ON office of Dr. K. Ford Moore to schedule your professional consultation today.