What is the best option for replacing a missing tooth ?
Table of Contents dental implant vs root canal therapy
Tooth extractions are still an everyday thing for us at GeeTee Dental. We want to help our patients take care of their teeth so they can keep them for long or forever and they can live a long and healthy life but unfortunately sometimes we need to extract some teeth. When we do, more often than not, Dr. Abib is asked; which is the best option for replacing a missing tooth?
Which is the best option for replacing a missing tooth?
Patients typically have three options when they need to replace the missing teeth. Given the right candidate, Dental Implant is the best option for replacing a missing tooth. If after the initial consultation, Our Dentist believes you are a good candidate for dental implants and you need to replace the missing tooth then Dental Implant is hands down the best option for you. Let us review the other two options before we delve into why we believe a Dental implant is the best.
3 options for Replacing a Missing tooth
Losing a tooth is not very nice. It has significant implications on our oral health so it is always best to replace them as recommended by your Dentist. There are three different options when you need to replace a missing tooth.
- Dental Bridge
- Denture (partial / full Denture)
- Dental Implant
A dental bridge replaces a tooth or teeth by being fixed to either one or both of the neighboring natural teeth. The artificial tooth that fills the gap (pontic) hovers over the gum very closely and provides a strong structure on which to bite on.
Advantage of Dental Bridge to replace a missing tooth
- Compared with implants, bridges have the advantage that they can usually be made in a shorter timespan and that there is not the psychological obstacle of having surgery on the gum.
Disadvantages of Dental Bridge
- The downside of a Dental bridge is that it relies on the health and support of the neighboring teeth,i.e the adjacent teeth have to be in a good condition to support the bridge and if the neighboring teeth become compromised, the whole bridge is compromised.
Removable Denture ( partial Denture / Full Denture / Flipper)
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Generally, there are two types of dentures depending on the number of teeth that are being replaced;
- Complete Denture: Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing
- Partial Denture: Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. When replacing just one tooth, this type of denture is called flipper
Advantages of Dentures:
- Cost-effective — denture placement can be considered a cost-effective option when compared to other methods such as dental implants or bridges.
- They benefit your smile — Dentures are made to closely resemble your natural teeth so replacing your teeth with dentures can improve your smile and fill out your facial appearance.
Disadvantages of Dentures:
- A denture, partial or complete by itself alone is rarely an ideal replacement for missing teeth mostly because it is removable and that is simply becoming less socially acceptable.
- Some Partial Dentures can damage the adjacent teeth and gums,
- Dentures can become loose over time as your gums continue to shrink beneath them.
What is a Dental Implant
Dental implants are made of titanium and represent a common procedure of permanently replacing missing teeth without affecting neighboring teeth. A completed implant includes three pieces: the implant itself (a titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone), the abutment (a connector between the implant and crown), and the crown (the part that is visible and looks like a tooth)
The three parts of dental implants and what they do
- Implant Post:
This is the component of a Dental Implant that functions like natural tooth roots. It is a small (regular sizes around 3.4-5.8 mm wide) cylindrical screw made of titanium due to its biocompatibility that is implanted into the jaw bone.
The dental implant abutment is a tiny device, typically composed of titanium or zirconia, that connects the dental implant in the bone to the dental prosthetic, usually a crown, bridge, or denture. It also aids in the healthy and attractive shaping of the gums.
- Dental Prosthetic
The dental prosthesis, which might be a dental crown, bridge, or denture, is the visible element of the dental implant.
- Dental crowns / Implant Crowns are used to replace a single missing tooth
- Dental bridges / Implant bridges are used to replace two or more adjacent missing teeth.
- Implant Dentures are utilized to replace a whole arch of lost teeth.
If our dentist is placing a crown or bridge, the restoration will either be cemented to the abutment or screw-retained. A denture, on the other hand, will most likely be snapped into the abutments but they can also be screw-retained.
Dental Implant Procedure to replace a missing tooth
Dental Implant Procedure is typically done in three stages:
- Step 1 Surgery
A single titanium implant is placed into the jaw, as the replacement root. It’s a straightforward process that can be completed under local anesthetic. The implant will need three to six months to heal and integrate with your jaw bone to provide solid support for your replacement tooth.
- Step 2 Restoration
Once your jaw has healed, an abutment will be fixed to the implant to hold your replacement tooth (crown) in place. Abutments are produced in titanium, gold or porcelain, and can come as a standard fit or crafted specifically for you. These options offer a range of aesthetic results, depending on your requirements.
- Step 3 Final Restoration
A crown is then fitted on top, to replace your missing tooth. Your London dentist will carefully match the color of your crown to your natural teeth. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us.
Advantages of dental implant for Replacing a missing tooth
Dental implants are usually the ideal way to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Although their cost is higher than the other options it is often said they offer good ‘value’ due to their longevity and function.
- Aesthetics and Improved confidence:
- Stability: Dental Implants are more stable
Titanium implant is placed directly into the jawbone, titanium is the only metal we know of that the body does not see as something foreign, and instead of the normal bodily response to something foreign the bone instead ‘fuses’ to the titanium implant providing stability
- Prevent Bone Loss and Maintain Jaw bone health:
Because a dental implant will replace your tooth root, the bone is better preserved. With a bridge, some of the bone that previously surrounded the tooth begins to resorb (deteriorate). Dental implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep the bone healthy and intact
- Longevity and Durability:
Dental implants can be said to last approximately as long as real teeth. In the long run. Resorbed bone beneath the bridge can lead to an unattractive smile. And, the cement holding the bridge in place can wash out, allowing bacteria to decay the teeth that anchor the bridge None of these will happen to a dental implant. Unlike real teeth, it is not possible for an implant to get tooth decay which essentially makes it last longer.
- Ease of maintenance:
In the long term, a single implant can be more aesthetic and easier to keep clean than a bridge. Because a bridge 2 or 3 or more crowns connected together, it is impossible to floss in between the teeth, unlike Dental implants where you can easily slide a dental floss in between and clean.
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
Because a dental implant is like your real tooth, it has some of the issues of your real tooth but not all.t is possible for the artificial tooth component to fracture (Implant crown), like a real tooth can, which may need to be repaired. Like real teeth it is possible to get gum disease around an implant and so it is important to have a good cleaning routine.
Seek a Professional Consultation with our Dentist to help you decide if you are a good candidate for an implant. Book Now
What is the best option for replacing a missing tooth ?