Enjoying Better Dental Checkups

2 Tooth Replacement Options

If you have lost a tooth recently, you may be concerned about how your loss will affect your appearance and your ability to chew. However, there are many different tooth replacement options available that can restore the look of your smile and your ability to masticate your food properly. Here are a few of them:

Dental Bridge

A dental bridge can be fixed in your mouth to replace a missing tooth. The device is a combination of bridge crowns with one or more false teeth attached to a base plate. The bridge crowns are used to hold the appliance in your mouth. They are placed on top of abutment teeth, which are the teeth that are adjacent to the gap from the lost tooth. 

Before a dental bridge is constructed, a mold or impression of your mouth is made. This ensures that the bridge fits the individual contours of your oral cavity properly. The mold is sent to a dental lab. There, technicians use the mold as a guide for the creation of the bridge. 

The bridge crowns are usually made of porcelain or porcelain-over-metal, and the false teeth are often made of porcelain or resin. Before the bridge can be installed in the mouth, a small amount of tooth material is removed from the abutment teeth so the bridge crowns fit over the teeth without altering your natural bite line. 

Once the bridge is secured in the mouth, it can withstand normal bite pressure and should look quite natural. The coloration of the bridge crowns and false teeth is matched to the natural color of your other teeth. 

Dental Implants

A dental implant also makes a great tooth replacement option. Unlike a fixed bridge, however, the dental implant is not held in the mouth by a connection to natural teeth or other dental implants. Instead, the dental implant is secured by its placement within the jawbone. 

The dental implant is installed inside the bone through a short surgical procedure. Once in place, the implant heals in position as the bone cells of the jaw integrate with the implanted rod or screw. After a few months, the dental implant is secured in position through osseointegration and can withstand the normal bite pressure associated with chewing. At that time, a connector and a dental crown can be added to the implant to complete the restoration process.

To learn more about tooth replacement options that may be available for your lost tooth, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area, such as Scott W. Murphy, D.M.D., P.A.