If your tooth is damaged or decayed, it is extremely important that you set an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. If your tooth has recently been damaged due to an accident or has been knocked out, schedule an emergency appointment. There may still be a chance to save the tooth, or at least part of the tooth.
Dentists prefer to save as much of your natural tooth as possible. If your tooth is damaged or decayed to the point where it can no longer be saved, though, your dentist may need to extract it. If your tooth has fallen out or been knocked out, your dentist may be able to reinsert it, but they also may not.
Once you have a gap in your teeth, you’ll need to consider a tooth or teeth replacement. It’s important to fill the gap between your teeth as soon as possible.
While many people only consider the aesthetic appearance of a missing tooth or teeth, there are actually a variety of issues that come with having a missing tooth or teeth. Below are some of the main issues:
· Teeth migration. Your teeth help to hold each other in place. If you have a gap between your teeth, your teeth will begin to shift over time. This can lead to crowding, crooked teeth, and impacting. Not only is this aesthetically unappealing, but it can also lead to additional oral health issues.
· Additional oral health issues. When your teeth are crowded or crooked, it is much more difficult to properly brush and floss them. In turn, they are at a higher risk of decay. Your gums are also at a higher risk of gum disease. The decay and gum disease can lead to more expensive procedures and may even lead to more teeth falling out or needing to be pulled!
· Jawbone deterioration. Having healthy, natural teeth helps with the integrity of your jawbone. Many people don’t consider this when they are thinking about their oral health. Over time, your jawbone will begin to deteriorate if there isn’t a natural tooth or replacement there to help with maintaining its integrity.
· Trouble eating. Biting and chewing can become a lot more difficult if you have a gap in your teeth. Replacements help to provide this additional support.
A tooth or teeth replacement will help to keep your healthy teeth in place, maintain the integrity of your jawbone, make it easier to take good care of your oral health, and make it easier to bite and chew your favorite foods.
There are a few different teeth replacement options to choose from. Some or all of these options may be available to you. Below are the most common replacement options, their advantages, and their disadvantages.
Dentures are a popular option for patients that have missing teeth. This is because they offer a reasonable amount of support, are affordable, and are often covered at least partially by insurance. While people often think of full dentures when they think of dentures, there are also partial dentures. Besides traditional dentures, there are snap-in dentures, implant-supported, and more.
While dentures are much more affordable than other options, they also (generally) aren’t as secure. Because of this, they shift around. This can make it more difficult to bite and chew.
A dental bridge attaches to the adjacent, healthy tooth or teeth of the patient. Part of the natural tooth or teeth are shaped to place the dental bridge. Dental bridges provide a higher level of support than dentures, but not as much support as dental implants. Bridges are fixed in place and are a long-lasting solution (if properly cared for).
Dental implants are the most secure and durable teeth replacement option. Dental implants can be used to replace one or more teeth. Implants are placed into the jawbone, where they fuse with the jawbone tissue. A dental crown is placed on the implant via an abutment. While the dental crown will eventually need to be replaced, the dental implant can last a lifetime.
Dental implants are the most secure replacement option. They very closely mimic natural teeth in durability, and certain materials can also mimic the appearance of natural teeth. You’ll be able to bite and chew your favorite foods with dental implants, and you won’t have to worry about them shifting around.
With that said, dental implants aren’t invincible. The crown of the implant will wear away over time and need to be replaced. The implant can also be damaged. Dental implants are also the most expensive option, and insurance coverage may be limited.
Dental implants also need a strong jawbone to install. If your jawbone has deteriorated, you may not be a candidate for dental implants. You may have the option of a bone graft to regenerate the bone tissue, but this can be costly and isn’t guaranteed to work.
Speak with your dentist to see if dental implants are a replacement option for you, whether you would need a bone graft for your jawbone, and what the costs may be.
No matter which replacement option you choose, aftercare is extremely important. While the replacement may be prosthetic, your surrounding teeth and gums are still natural. This means you need to continue to brush, floss, and rinse twice a day, every day. If you don’t brush and floss around the prosthetic, you may end up with gum disease or decay on the surrounding teeth.
If you notice any damage to your replacement, set an appointment with your dentist so they can take a look.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth that need to be replaced, reach out to Nova Dental today! We’ll take a look and let you know what replacement options are available and which will best meet your needs.