Though dental implants are the most expensive procedure available to replace a missing tooth, they are also the best resolution. There are several options you can choose when you have a missing tooth:
Opting to not receive treatment for a missing tooth may result in further problems in the future, such as bone resorption and adjacent teeth becoming loose, shifted, or damaged.
Getting a partial denture made is one of the quickest options to take care of a missing tooth. Cosmetically, a partial denture fills the gap from a missing tooth with a natural looking, acrylic tooth. A partial denture helps keep adjacent and opposite arch teeth in place, however, it does not address the bone below the device. Bone resorption may still occur with a partial denture.
Constructing a dental bridge from two adjacent teeth is a more permanent solution for cosmetically replacing a missing tooth than a partial denture. A dental bridge is just like a dental crown, however, usually made with 3 or more crowns in one unit. A dental bridge lasts approximately 5-10 years depending on home care and quality. If the adjacent teeth to your missing tooth were not in are not in need of treatment, a dental bridge may not be the best option, but rather, keeping your healthy natural teeth untouched by the drill. Also, bone resorption may still occur under a dental bridge, as well as potential bacteria and food collection.
Placing a dental implant addresses both adjacent teeth health and bone health. A dental implant is placed directly in the bone, continuing to stimulate it just like the previous tooth did. Because of the continuous stimulation, little to no bone resorption will occur. Also, with a dental implant and crown in place, adjacent teeth will stay put, keeping their optimal health.
There are several different options for replacing a missing tooth. A dental implant is the best investment that can be made to restore not only a missing tooth, but also maintain bone and adjacent teeth health in the product.