A missing tooth can be troubling, to say the least. So, we asked one of our assistants to give us a quick summary of some of the options available to replace your missing tooth!
Full or partial dentures are one option to replace missing teeth. This option is typically best for anyone missing several or all of their teeth. A partial denture is removable. Teeth are inserted on the partial denture where your teeth are missing. Clasps are placed on the partial denture that hook around your natural teeth to hold it in place. A full denture is also removable and gives you a custom-made full set of new teeth! Full and partial dentures can typically be finished in one month, but if extractions and healing time are needed, the process may be longer.
A bridge is another option for replacing one missing tooth, and in some cases two teeth. This is a fairly quick procedure and can generally be completed within a few weeks as long as there are not any teeth that need to be extracted; extra time may be needed for healing after extracting a tooth if the tooth wasn’t previously missing. A bridge is a fixed appliance, meaning that it is permanent. Crowns are put on the teeth on each side of the missing tooth, as anchors. An artificial tooth is connected to the anchors and sits in place where your missing tooth was. The bridge is permanently cemented to your teeth.
Another permanent option is a dental implant. These can be used to replace just one or multiple teeth. An implant, typically made of titanium and looks kind of like a screw, is placed in the jaw bone and the procedure is completed by a specialist. A healing period of 4-6 months is typical once the implant is placed. An abutment looks like a smaller version of an artificial tooth that connects the implant to the crown, and can usually be placed on the implant by your general dentist. An impression is taken to create the permanent crown that will be attached to the abutment. The crown is the piece that looks like a real tooth. Although dental implants are higher in cost and require more time to complete, once completed, you are able to treat the dental implant like you would a regular tooth!