Tooth repair and replacement is not something that should be taken lightly. This is your health and your mouth, after all, and knowing about the ways in which you can replace your teeth is half the battle of getting them fixed and making your smile all that it can be.
So What Are My Options for Tooth Replacement?
There are really only three options that are usually offered for replacing missing or broken teeth. The first is through the use of dentures, which are generally plates of fake teeth meant to take up a large area of the mouth. The second method is with a bridge. This involves attaching a fake tooth made of porcelain to two adjacent teeth, essentially creating a bridge between the two real teeth with the fake one and filling in the gap. The last form of tooth replacement is by use of dental implants.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is by far the most involved way to replace a missing tooth. To successfully implant the tooth, a cosmetic dentist will first affix a titanium piece to the jaw of the patient. Then a fake tooth made of porcelain or some other material is created and made to look like a real tooth. It is attached to the titanium piece and the implant is completed. This type of replacement is completely independent of other teeth and can be done one at a time.
What Makes an Implant Different?
Implants are by far the longest lasting and most permanent way to fix a missing tooth and repair a smile. Dentures involve a lot of maintenance and upkeep. Not only that, but they are often not the most effective solution unless there are many teeth that are missing. If it is only one tooth, dentures would not make the most sense. Bridges are generally not as long-lasting as implants either. Not only that, but they require teeth on either side of the problem area to exist in order for proper anchoring of the piece to take place.
Implants, on the other hand, last a long time and are known not to create as many issues for the patient as the other forms of tooth replacement. Not only that, but they can be completely independent of other teeth.
How Do I Get an Implant?
All you have to do is talk to your dentist. They will do a number of x-rays and work with surgeon on getting the best implant for your situation. Once it is decided that you are going to go ahead with the implant, the surgeon will affix the titanium piece to your jaw bone, and your dentist will create the crown of the implant based on your tooth impressions. After they attach the crown to the titanium, you will just need to check up with your implant team from time to time.
Fixing your missing teeth is a big step and should be thought out carefully. Hopefully now you know a little bit more about the ins and outs of implants for dental purposes.