Learning to Take Better Care of Your Family's Teeth

Why an Implant Is a Good Choice for a Missing Front Tooth

If you lost a front tooth in an injury, you're probably anxious to have it replaced so you won't be embarrassed when you smile. There are a couple of options to consider when it comes to getting a new tooth. You could get a bridge or an implant. There are advantages to getting an implant, even if it takes longer to complete the process. Here's why.

Disadvantages of a Bridge

A dental bridge places an artificial tooth in the gap left by your missing tooth, so it will correct the problem. The big disadvantage to a bridge is that it attaches to the teeth on each side of the gap. You'll need three crowns in all. One for the missing tooth and two for the nearby healthy teeth. Your healthy teeth are covered in crowns and bear the force of holding the middle crown in place. This stresses the teeth unnecessarily. The big advantage of getting a dental implant instead is that your healthy teeth are not disturbed or put at risk.

Advantages of an Implant

An implant attaches to your bone rather than the nearby teeth. This makes it much stronger, so you can bite and chew normally. Since your front teeth bear a lot of force when biting, it's important they are strong and stable in your jaw. An implant looks natural, too. When you have the crown applied to the implant, you can choose to have it made from resin or porcelain. Porcelain is more expensive, but it is a good choice because it is strong, and it closely resembles natural enamel. It's also possible you can get the implant in a single day.

Same-Day Implants

Whether your tooth is damaged and you need to have it pulled or it is already missing, you may be able to have the implant inserted and a crown put on the same day. There is a slight risk to doing this because it takes several weeks or months for your bone to fuse to the implant. During this time, you'll need to be careful about biting and chewing on the tooth forcefully or you can interfere with the fusing process.

Even though you may leave the dentist's office with a crown, the crown could be temporary. The dentist may need to wait until the implant has fused completely before placing the permanent crown. Your individual situation is taken into account. If your bone is damaged, it may need time to heal before it is safe to attach a crown for chewing. If that's the case, you still won't have to worry about walking around with a gap in your teeth for months.

If your dentist waits for your bone to heal until any type of crown is placed on the implant, you'll wear some sort of temporary tooth. These can be attached in different ways. The easiest and least expensive option may be to wear a temporary partial denture that contains just one tooth. Another option is to wear a tooth that attaches to the adjacent teeth with wire or plastic clasps.

Once your implant has healed, you'll have a strong tooth that functions and looks just as good as your natural teeth. That's why a dental implant is often the ideal solution for replacing a lost front tooth. For further information, contact an establishment like Webster Cosmetic Dental LTD.