Replacing a Missing Tooth

When a tooth is lost, it can affect the area around it. Whether the tooth is lost to an injury or to decay, the structure of the mouth can begin to alter. Here are the three most common ways to replace a single missing tooth.

Single Implant.

A dental implant restores the mouth to optimal function by substituting the root structure of the missing tooth. This helps to prevent further complications that can arise if the missing tooth is not replaced. It usually requires multiple appointments to complete a dental implant placement.

Advantages.

  • This is the most permanent type of tooth replacement. The average life expectancy is approximately 20 years.
  • No damage to adjacent teeth.
  • Allows for flossing between teeth.
  • Prevents atrophy (shrinking of the gums in the area of the missing tooth).
  • Excellent aesthetics.
  • Prevents drifting of adjacent teeth and overeruption of opposing teeth.

 

Disadvantages.

  • This is the most expensive treatment option.
  • It can take a long time to complete treatment.
  • May involve a more complicated surgical procedure.
  • Slight chance that the implant may be rejected and will not "take".
  • You may need to wear a removable tooth for an extended period of time, while waiting to place the final crown.

Three-Unit Bridge.

A dental implant restores the mouth to optimal function by substituting the root structure of the missing tooth. This helps to prevent further complications that can arise if the missing tooth is not replaced. It usually requires multiple appointments to complete a dental implant placement.