If you’ve lost a tooth then you know just how embarrassing it can be. It can impact your life and even put you off smiling for fear people will see. Fortunately, there are several attractive tooth replacement options and at Dental Spot we’re here to offer you guidance and suggest what’s best for your dental needs.
What are your options if you’ve lost a tooth?
People can lose teeth for a variety of reasons including tooth decay, periodontitis, and trauma. Whatever, the cause of tooth loss it’s important to replace a missing tooth as failure to do so can lead to more serious dental problems. We’ve listed 3 of the most popular tooth replacement options to help you get your smile back on track.
Fixed Dental Bridge
One of the first tooth replacement options your dentist may suggest is a dental bridge. This is a fixed device that connects a false tooth to the adjacent teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth. These abutment teeth, as they are called, need to be shaped in order to fit a crown which the bridge will be attached to. Typically getting a bridge requires a minimum of two dental visits.
Dental implants are usually the preferred choice of tooth replacement options for most dentists, particularly if a patient is missing just one tooth or several teeth in different parts of their mouth. Incredibly natural looking, it’s really difficult to tell the difference and since they function just like natural teeth, many patients forget they’ve even got one!
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are screw-like titanium rods that are placed by a dental surgeon into the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. Once placed, they’re left for several months during which time the surrounding bone grows over the implant to give it the strength to support whichever type of crown, bridge, or denture is being used to complete the restoration.
Once the dentist is sure that the bone and the implant have fused firmly together, a connecting piece, called an abutment is screwed into the implant. Sometimes this is done at the same time as the dental implant is placed.
Once healing has taken place it’s time to cement the crown or bridge onto the abutment to complete the restoration. If you’re having a denture, then this can be cemented onto the implants permanently or an alternative removable denture can be made for you.
How do dental implants work?
Tooth implants take on the role of the missing tooth root and by fusing with the bone in the jaw they become a permanent fixture in the mouth unlike any of the other forms of teeth replacement. When a patient bites and chews their food, the force is transferred into the jawbone, stimulating it and helping to maintain it by preventing the bone loss which naturally occurs when a tooth is missing.
Unlike other forms of tooth replacement such as dentures, tooth implants allow the patient to eat all the same foods as they did when they had a full set of natural teeth.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of implants varies from one individual to another, depending on the complexity of their case, the brand of implants used, the experience of their dentist, and even their location. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anything from $2000 to $7000. Do check, however, that the price you’re quoted includes both the implant and the dental crown.
Partial dentures are another option for replacing a missing tooth. Consisting of a false tooth and gum coloured acrylic base attached to a wire frame it can either be inserted between your natural teeth for a snug fit or anchored to crowns which have been placed onto the teeth at either end of the gap. It may feel a little strange at first and your speech may be affected, but with perseverance, you’ll soon adjust to wearing it.
Don’t panic if you lose a tooth. There are several tooth replacement options available to you. If you’re missing a tooth then the dentists at Dental Spot can discuss your best options with you. Give us a call on (02) 9158 6115 to schedule an appointment.