Cosmetic dentistry gives dentists the tools they need to transform any smile. It is a branch of dentistry that mainly deals with repairing aesthetic problems.Teeth are bombarded with many things that can discolor or damage them. Most people will need cosmetic dental treatments at some point in their life.Popular cosmetic dentistry treatments used to restore…
Cosmetic Dentistry to Replace a Missing Tooth
With the tooth replacement options available in cosmetic dentistry, you can prevent the negative effects associated with missing teeth. A healthy set of teeth is important, not just for good health, but the absence of one can make regular tasks such as speaking or chewing more difficult. Regardless of the location of the missing teeth, patients need to visit the dentist to have the missing tooth replaced.
Options for replacing a missing tooth
The following are cosmetic dentistry options for replacing a missing tooth.
A dental implant is a titanium post inserted surgically into the jaw to replace the lost tooth root. The implant fuses with the jawbone to support a dental crown. Dental implants are the closest to the feel and appearance of the natural tooth and can survive several years, if not decades, of use without needing repair or replacement. The process can take several months though due to osseointegration (fusing of bone with the implant). They also tend to cost more and are not suitable for everyone.
A dental bridge is a tooth replacement that consists of a fake tooth (pontic) held in place by existing teeth. Different types of bridges are available with different mechanisms.
Traditional bridge: This is used when there is a healthy tooth on both sides of the gap. A dental crown is placed on the adjacent teeth to hold the false tooth firmly in place.
Bonded bridge: This type of bridge uses a metal framework as an anchor and has a “wing” on both sides to connect the replacement tooth to existing ones.
Cantilever bridge: This type of bridge is held only on one side. It is usually used for front teeth or areas without stress, if there are natural teeth on just one side of the gap. The general dentist will place crowns over two teeth on the side to support the artificial tooth.
Removable partial dentures
The removable partial denture can replace a small area of missing teeth and restore the appearance and function of the smile. Although the removable partial denture enables proper chewing and has good aesthetic appeal, they are not as durable as dental implants or bridges and can be somewhat inconvenient to wear for long periods. However, they are generally an inexpensive tooth replacement choice and can be repaired easily if damaged.
Depending on the number of healthy teeth remaining, getting complete dentures can be invasive and demands multiple dental appointments. Unlike the partial denture, they are used for replacing most, if not all, the teeth. Most times, the dentist will remove the remaining teeth to make room for the dentures. Dentures do provide dental functionality, but they are not designed to be worn all day long.
If you want cosmetic dentistry options to replace a missing tooth, ensure that you consult your general dentist for assessment and recommendation. The options listed above are good to know about, but the dental appointment will ensure that you get the right option to restore your smile.
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