One missing tooth may not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to more problems down the road. Teeth work together and, when one is lost due to injury, decay, or gum disease, they shift around to compensate for the missing tooth. Over time, this can impact the way you talk, chew, and how your jaw and facial muscles work. A missing tooth can also change your bite and the shape of your face as your mouth shifts. If you lose a tooth, your dentist will typically recommend one of the following solutions.
1. Dental implants
Dental implants in Calgary are one of the most common tooth replacement procedures because of their reliability and strength. They are a permanent solution for a missing tooth or multiple teeth that function like natural teeth. Although dental implants typically cost more than other tooth-replacement treatments, they can also last a lifetime if cared for properly.
Dental implants involve replacing a tooth’s root with metal screws. A dental implant clinic in Calgary surgically places these screws in and then allows for time to heal the implant. Once the implant is fused to the jawbone, a dental crown that looks and feels like your surrounding teeth is secured onto the screw.
2. Dental bridge
A fixed bridge is a less invasive and cost-effective option than a dental implant. Instead of surgically placing a screw into the jawbone, a bridge sits in between the surrounding teeth and can be done in one of two ways:
- Tooth-supported bridge – This method uses your existing teeth around the missing tooth to support the bridge. Once the crown is placed on the teeth, it is cemented into place and looks very natural.
- Implant-supported bridge – This method is typically used for patients with multiple missing teeth. Rather than replace each tooth with a dental implant, which can be costly and lengthy, dental implant clinics in Calgary will only replace the teeth at the two ends with implants. The missing teeth in the middle are then replaced with an implant-supported bridge.
3. Removable partial dentures
Removable partial dentures are recommended for patients with a few missing teeth. Using metal brackets, partial dentures are clasped into place and can easily pop out when needed. One of the advantages of a partial denture is that additional teeth can be added if teeth are lost in the future. Partial dentures are also one of the least expensive tooth replacement options.
Dental advancements have made it possible to replace missing teeth with ones that look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. The ‘best’ option really depends on the health of your surrounding teeth and gums, your personal dental history, budget, and the procedure that you’re comfortable with. Your local Calgary dentist can help you decide which tooth replacement option will give you the outcome you’re looking for.