When you have a tooth that is missing due to decay or it never formed, many people can be embarrassed by the space. But did you know that there are other reasons to have the space filled?
When there is a space between teeth, the teeth on either side can shift or tilt causing problems with your bite which can lead to TMJ problems. Also, the opposing tooth from top or bottom can drift into t
he space. Another problem can be bone loss due to not having a tooth to stimulate the bone. When bone is not being used, it resorbs causing bone loss.
There are a few different ways to replace a missing tooth.
The best way, if possible, is through a dental implant. These are titanium implants that go into the bone and become set to hold a new tooth, crown, in place. They function like a normal tooth and are easy to keep clean. Because there is something in the bone, the bone is being used and does not resorb.
The second best way is a fixed bridge. This is a porcelain or metal appliance that uses the teeth on either side of the space to anchor in place. A bridge is cemented in place and does not come out. Cleaning can be a little more difficult than an implant, but is easy once you get used to the bridge.
The third option is a removable partial denture. This is like a retainer that has teeth on it and comes in and out. A partial denture hooks onto the remaining teeth and give the appearance of teeth in the missing areas. You take the partial out to clean it but it stays in to function as a tooth.
If you have a missing tooth don’t be like this guy, discuss with your dentist which option is right for you!
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