Imagine a scenario in which you suddenly lose one of your teeth. Now, you need to see the dentist to address the gap in your smile. When it comes to replacing this lost tooth, should you consider a dental bridge or a dental implant? How do these two prosthetic options differ?
The Dangers of Tooth Loss
Why should you seek replacement for a lost tooth? Aside from the embarrassment of having missing teeth, tooth loss can also lead to serious oral health concerns. The gap in your smile can often lead to the surrounding teeth drifting from their positions, causing misalignment. You may have trouble eating your favorite foods and speaking clearly can be difficult if you’ve lost more than one tooth.
Finally, the lack of a tooth root can mean the body suspends he flow of nutrients to the jaw bone. Without regular doses of calcium and phosphorus the jawbone can deteriorate, leading to further tooth loss and eventually, an aged appearance.
A dental bridge can prevent misalignment, replacing between one and three teeth in a row. The prosthetic consists of the pontics (replacement teeth) with crowns attached to each end. The crowns are then placed onto the teeth on either side of the gap in the smile, anchoring the new ones in place. The prosthetic can last between 10 and 15 years.
A dental implant is actually inserted into the jawbone, acting as a new tooth root. This not only prevents misalignment, but also stimulates jawbone growth to prevent further tooth loss or an aged appearance as a result of lost jawbone density. After being restored with a custom-made dental crown, the new tooth can last for decades, if not a lifetime, and will blend with the smile seamlessly.
Do You Have Missing Teeth?
We have options available to help address tooth loss and improve your smile’s function and appearance. You can schedule a restorative consultation with Dr. Fondriest by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts at (847) 234-0517. We welcome patients from the North Shore area of Chicago.