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At first glance, missing just one tooth may not seem like a big deal, especially if the tooth is located toward the back of your mouth and out of sight. You may think that you can get by without replacing it. Well, the truth is that just a single lost tooth can have serious effects on your oral and overall health. Your remaining healthy teeth can easily start to move out of position to compensate for the gap. This not only impacts your aesthetics but also changes how your bite fits together. Perhaps more importantly, your jaw bone loses stimulation and atrophies. Over time, your facial structure can change and the support your jaw bone gives to your healthy teeth can weaken, potentially leading to more tooth loss down the road. That’s why it’s important to replace even one missing tooth!
Luckily, at Hill Avenue Dental, we can offer you two choices for filling in the gap in your smile. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and our team can help you decide which will provide the best solution for your needs.
A dental bridge is a custom restoration that consists of a prosthetic tooth in between two dental crowns, which are used to attach the restoration to the two healthy teeth that surround the missing one. This option keeps your teeth aligned properly, and it costs less than a dental implant. However, it only replaces the top portion of the missing tooth and needs to be replaced about every seven to ten years. Also, the anchoring teeth have to be reduced to make room for the crown.
Unlike a dental bridge, a dental implant mimics the entire structure of the missing tooth—including the root. A titanium post is surgically inserted into and becomes integrated with the jaw bone. Once this process is complete, you’ll return to our office, and we’ll restore the implant with a custom dental crown. Although a dental implant has a higher upfront cost than a dental bridge, it typically lasts much longer and provides a firmer foundation for your replacement tooth.
Because they replace the whole tooth, dental implants can offer benefits that dental bridges simply can’t. These benefits include the following:
So how do you know which choice is best for your situation? The good news is that you don’t have to decide on your own. Schedule a consultation with us, and our dentists can determine whether you’re a candidate for a dental implant. Then, we’ll review your options and find the right solution for you. So contact our Superior team at Hill Avenue Dental to get started today!