Single Tooth Replacement: What are my options?

As a long-term replacement for one or more missing teeth, dental implants are generally the most highly regarded treatment option. Partially due to the implant’s exceptional comfort and appearance, and partially due to the implant’s permanent bond to the actual jaw bone, it is a popular choice for both dentists and patients.

Over the last three decades, implant dentistry has eliminated many of the shortcomings seen in other tooth replacement alternatives.

Removable dentures or partials, for example, are designed to rest on the gum tissue which can be irritating during speaking and eating. These restorations rely on metal clasps and wires for added support, and typically include a base made from a substantial amount of plastic or metal. Where only a single tooth is missing, a removable denture or partial can be bulky and excessive.

The fixed dental bridge, a popular choice twenty years ago, also includes a number of challenges. At least two healthy teeth adjacent to the missing tooth must be significantly altered in order to anchor the bridge. As a restoration that spans the width of at least three teeth, the bridge can make chewing and oral hygiene difficult. Many patients are likely to encounter tooth decay, bone loss, and food impaction at the location of the bridge.

When your oral surgeon places a dental implant at the location of a missing tooth, you can be assured that you have received the most conservative and effective treatment available. A dental implant is virtually the same size and shape as a natural tooth. An implant is designed to stand alone, as an individual tooth, rather than rely on neighboring teeth or delicate gum tissue for support. Dental implants help to preserve the surrounding bone structure, and can be cared for in the same manner as your natural teeth.

While dental implants have become increasingly popular for the replacement of missing teeth, the process can still seem mysterious and unfamiliar for many patients. To learn more about the dental implant procedure, schedule an appointment with our top oral surgeons at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates today for an informative consultation.