One or more lost teeth can have a significantly negative impact on the look of your smile and the health of your mouth. A dental gap not only makes the teeth appear less uniform, but it can also lead to a dental misalignment.
Since each tooth serves as a place-keeper for the teeth that are positioned next to it, a missing tooth allows enough room for the nearby teeth to gradually shift out of place. This shifting can cause the teeth to become misaligned.
Nevertheless, there are multiple dental applications that can fill a gap left by a missing tooth. Here are a few of them.
A dental implant can also be used during a tooth replacement. An implant is a titanium rod or screw that serves as the prosthetic root of the replacement tooth.
The implant, like a natural tooth root, is positioned in the bone of the jaw, where it heals in place. When the implant becomes stable, it can be fitted with a connector and a dental crown to fully replace the lost tooth.
A dental implant is considered a permanent application. However, dental implant patients should be sure to clean their gums and teeth properly to avoid peri-implantitis, a type of gum disease that can prevent an implant wound from healing properly.
Implants can be used for single-tooth restorations or applied in conjunction with other tooth-replacement applications such as dentures and dental bridges.
A dental bridge is a prosthetic appliance that includes one or more false teeth and abutment crowns. The crowns, which are usually located on each end of the bridge, connect the appliance in the mouth as they are bonded to the abutment teeth or dental implants that border the dental gap.
To ensure that a bridge fits the mouth properly, a mold of the oral cavity is created. This impression is used as a guide during the fabrication of the bridge.
Additionally, the false teeth and crowns of the bridge are pigmented to match the color of the patient's remaining natural teeth. As a result, a dental bridge tends to look natural and is difficult to discern in the mouth.
The bridge is considered a permanent application and may not require replacement. However, it is still necessary to maintain the health of the surrounding gums and adjacent teeth with proper oral hygiene.
If you have one or more missing teeth, consider scheduling a consultation with a dentist in your local area.