A missing tooth, especially a front one, can be an embarrassment. Even though it may darken your day, there’s a silver lining; you can get the gap fixed. No longer do you need to hide your smile, chew awkwardly, or avoid speaking to strangers. You can live life as you did before.
Fixing a Gap Caused by a Missing Tooth
If you’ve decided to replace a missing tooth, you have a variety of options to choose from. Here are five options for you to fix your smile.
1) A tooth-supported fixed bridge: This solution for a missing tooth requires a lot of work and involves grinding adjacent teeth that will be used to support the bridge. Since the bridge is attached to other teeth and won’t use the natural bone underneath, the bone will still deteriorate, which can change the appearance of your smile and face over time. This solution is also high maintenance and may not last as long as the other options out there.
2) A flipper: A flipper is by no means a permanent solution to your missing tooth problem, but can be a short-term answer while another solution is being decided. As the name suggests, a flipper flips in and out easily and can be replaced with a bridge or an implant. It’s often used first to allow the gap to heal properly and can be compared to a removable denture. This less expensive option does not require your dentist to alter any surrounding teeth.
3) A dental implant: Many dentists consider a dental implant to be your best option when replacing a missing tooth. Not only does it look natural, but it also feels natural when you brush, smile, or chew food. They are a strong, long-lasting solution designed to fuse with surrounding bone without altering any of your other teeth. The implant replaces the root of the missing tooth and heals in the bone for many months after. After the implant has been placed and secured, a crown is cemented on top of it. However, if the gap requires healing, a dental implant will not be possible right away. If you’re looking for the most natural option to fix your missing tooth gap, this solution would be your best bet.
4) A resin-bonded bridge: A resin-bonded bridge, also known as a Maryland Bridge, can be a solution to restore front teeth that don’t bear the brunt of biting and chewing work. There is no need to grind adjacent teeth as it is equipped with wings on each side that easily attach. This solution functions better and looks more natural that a removable denture. However, a resin-bonded bridge isn’t as strong as fixed bridgework and doesn’t last anywhere near as long as dental implants.
5) Removable partial dentures: When you hear dentures, you think of older people, right? Dentures aren’t restricted to just that demographic, though; they can be used to fix a missing tooth, too. These dentures don’t require any grinding, but they can be somewhat uncomfortable and can affect eating and speech. Removable partial dentures are a less expensive option but don’t look as natural as some of the other options. It’s also key to note it’s still possible for the bone underneath the denture to deteriorate over time.
Related: Accidental Injuries and Dental Insurance: Are You Covered?
A missing tooth doesn’t have to be the end of your social life or career; it only requires a trip to your dentist. Replacing the tooth can be done several ways, but one stands out more than the rest—a dental implant with a crown. Other solutions include bridges, flippers, and removable partial dentures. Whichever one you pick, know that your smile will soon again be perfect and beautiful.