It’s not uncommon to have a missing tooth. Some people have a condition called hypodontia, where up to six of their permanent teeth fail to develop. Some dental patients require a tooth to be pulled due to gum disease, a tumor, or severe pain. Whatever the reason the patient is missing a tooth, it’s important to have it replaced in order to preserve the functionality of the teeth and jaw.
Your teeth are what allow you to chew properly, and they make it easier for you to speak and pronounce words correctly. Having all your teeth also gives your mouth a healthy and attractive appearance. If you lose a tooth or have it pulled, leaving an empty space where the tooth used to be can cause major issues with your bite and with the alignment of your teeth. The teeth next to the empty space may shift towards each other to fill the gap, which can cause teeth to become crooked and further misaligned.
There are several good options for replacing a missing tooth. The most popular alternative is a dental implant, because the device acts as an artificial tooth root that can support a crown. This option offers the dental patient a more structurally complete and permanent replacement. Implants have a natural appearance, and offer the same functionality as the natural tooth.
Another alternative is a dental bridge, which would span the space of the missing tooth. A bridge includes two or more dental crowns (one on each end) and a false tooth in the middle. The bridge is cemented to the surrounding natural teeth or to a dental implant. Partial dentures, which have a gum-colored base like a retainer, have false teeth attached to fill the empty space. It clasps onto the natural teeth, and can be easily inserted and removed.
For more information about replacing a missing tooth, please contact:
Webster Cosmetic Dentistry, Ltd.
1121 Warren Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60515