Although you work diligently to save your tooth, you may not always avoid extraction. If your tooth needs to be pulled out, you have many options to replace it once it has healed from extraction. Your Thornton dentist can help you choose the right tooth replacement option for you.
Why Replace a Missing Tooth
After tooth extraction, you may leave the gap created empty instead of addressing it. This can be the case if the extracted tooth is not visible from the outside. While this can save you money, it can become costlier in the long run. A missing tooth can lead to several issues that can get worse the longer the gap stays unaddressed. Over time, the teeth that surround the gap can shift towards it, causing misalignment. Such movement can affect your smile. Also, not replacing a missing tooth can lead to jawbone loss. This can happen as your jawbone loses the stimulation it gets from the extracted tooth.
Common Tooth Replacements
Following tooth extraction, your dentist will assess your oral health, including the location of the tooth and the bone mass at the extraction site. They can use this information to determine the right tooth replacement for you. Your options can include the following:
- Dental implant. This mimics the look and function of a natural tooth. An implant is rooted in your jawbone, preventing bone loss. The titanium implant will fuse with the bone naturally, offering a lasting bond. The crown of the implant resembles your tooth’s color and shape for a seamless look in your mouth.
- Partial dentures. This tooth replacement option uses a gum-colored plate to be worn at the top of the mouth. The dentures can be removed and cleaned at night.
- Fixed bridge. This remains in the mouth but has to be cared for properly. A fixed bridge does not last as long as a removable bridge and may fail after 5-10 years when not cared for properly.
- Resin-bonded bridge. This is ideal for a front tooth that is not subjected to molar stresses during eating. It looks more natural than a fixed bridge or partial denture. With this bridge, there is no need to damage the nearby teeth. Rather, it utilizes attachments for holding it in place on nearby teeth.
Whether you are about to undergo a tooth extraction or have lost a tooth to this procedure, you must consult with your dentist to know what replacement option is best for you. Your dentist can decide on this option according to your current oral health.