Adult tooth loss is more prevalent than you might think. In fact, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry estimates that two in three Americans have one or more missing teeth. Rising rates of periodontal disease (gum disease) probably contribute to this increase. While tooth loss may be common, it should never be mistaken as insignificant. Your teeth play an important role in keeping your gums and jawbone strong and healthy. It is important to consider tooth replacement options as soon as possible after losing a tooth.
Which tooth replacement option should you choose? Dr. Stephen M. Stein at New Image Dental Implant Center in Denver, CO can help you assess your options and choose the solution that works best with your smile. The following are the most common tooth replacement options:
Dental Implant: A dental implant is one of the most effective and long-lasting tooth replacement options available. Because a dental implant replaces both the tooth root and the tooth, it provides natural chewing support, esthetics, and prevents bone and gum loss. A dental implant consists of a titanium rod placed in the gums that supports a dental crown, fixed bridge, or dentures. If you want to restore the same look, feel, and function of your missing tooth, a dental implant is the best option for you.
Tooth-Supported Fixed Bridge: In a tooth-supported fixed bridge, two dental crowns on adjacent teeth support the new tooth in between. A traditional dental bridge is esthetically pleasing and offers good chewing support. However, both healthy adjacent teeth must be permanently reduced to fit the dental crown and bone loss can still occur.
Resin-Bonded Bridge: Two resin or metal attachments are bonded to the back of the teeth adjacent to the new tooth in a resin-bonded bridge. Although no healthy teeth are reduced, this tooth replacement is esthetic but does not last more than a few years. It also does not prevent bone and gum reduction.
Removable Partial Denture: This cheap and easy tooth replacement option is probably the most unstable. A plastic tooth is supported by a metal or plastic retainer-like device, providing poor esthetics and little chewing support.
Removable Full Denture: Traditional dentures can replace your whole smile, but pale in comparison to implant-supported dentures. Traditional dentures rest directly on the gums and offer poor chewing support and reduced talking and eating capabilities. In addition, bone and gum reduction often require you to get your dentures refitted or replaced.
A dental implant is considered the most effective and successful tooth replacement option in Denver and worldwide. To learn more about tooth replacement with dental implants, call our New Image Dental Implant Center in Denver to schedule an initial consultation with a dental implant dentist.