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Front Teeth: Replacing Missing Teeth Options
Having missing teeth in the front row can be particularly worrisome, considering that a smile makes up an important part of someone's personality. Patients may soon find themselves smiling less and covering their mouth more due to embarrassment, and self-esteem and confidence could take a blow. Besides the aesthetics, a lost tooth can affect the remaining teeth, making them less stable and potentially causing bite misalignment. If you are looking to replace a front tooth, you probably want an option that blends right in with the remaining teeth.
Front tooth replacement options
The following are some of the options for replacing missing teeth in the front row:
This option involves supporting a dental bridge with two teeth close to the gap. The adjacent teeth will be covered with crowns, and the crowns will be linked with a prosthetic or replacement tooth called a pontic to create a strong and reliable restoration. The adjacent teeth, also called the abutment, must be filed down to prepare them for the dental bridge fitting.
The preparation for the abutment teeth is important so that they do not look too bulky or awkward. If the teeth close to the gap are broken, discolored, or damaged in any way, and would benefit from a dental crown, then opting for a dental bridge would be beneficial. However, if the teeth are healthy and strong, it means the dentist will need to remove “good” tooth structure. A dental bridge can be cosmetically appealing if handled by a professional.
A dental implant is an innovative way to restore a missing tooth. The result is highly aesthetic and looks natural. The single implant restoration consists of a dental implant inserted into the gums and covered by a crown. Unlike the dental bridge and removable partial denture, the prosthetic teeth do not rest on the gums. Also, the dentist will not need to reshape existing teeth, which makes a dental implant sometimes the healthiest restoration option.
The dental implant replaces the tooth root, and this offers additional benefits for oral health. When the patient bites, the sensations move through the tooth into its root and surrounding bone. The stimulation keeps the jawbone strong and healthy because the body will continue to replace old bone cells. Usually, when a tooth is missing, that process stops and the jawbone slowly loses its density. Patients who are looking for an option that provides the feel and function close to the natural tooth should certainly consider dental implants.
Removable partial denture
Sometimes called a flipper, this is a mini denture created for patients who cannot get a dental bridge or dental implant restoration for some reason. The prosthetic device is fabricated to replace the lost front teeth and is supported by the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. Although this option is not as stable as the other ones listed above, it could be a temporary solution while the patient waits for a more permanent option.
Losing front teeth can be quite disconcerting. Fortunately, with the number of advanced and affordable tooth replacement options available nowadays, patients can get their missing teeth replaced by the dentist.
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