According to the American College of Prosthodontists, more than 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. While the aesthetics of a missing tooth can be bothersome, the oral health issues caused are more concerning. When missing a tooth, problems with gum recession and bone loss are common. Without the root structure in place, the bone and gum tissue simply recede, which can result in problems with tooth alignment for the adjacent teeth.
When faced with the decision to fix a missing tooth, removable dentures or a fixed bridge are often considered. In fact, a fixed bridge restoration used to be the best choice available. With a fixed bridge, the teeth on either side of the space are prepared for a crown. Then the laboratory fabricates a restoration that “bridges” the space where the tooth used to be with an artificial tooth, connecting the artificial tooth and adjacent crowns as one unit. It is fully functional and a huge improvement over removable partial dentures.
While this option can help, it doesn’t address all issues involved with missing teeth. Even when a patient is missing just a single tooth, a dental implant can be a more effective option. A dental implant can be placed in the bone and acts as a replacement for the root of the tooth. The dental implant is completed with a crown, custom fashioned to fill the gap, as if you never lost the tooth. The implant-supported crown is extremely stable and remains in place when a you bite and chew normally.
An additional benefit of a dental implant is that it is not necessary to involve other teeth to restore the area. Once teeth adjacent to a missing tooth are prepared for a bridge, they are taking two or more times the force and stress than when separate. This can set those teeth up for earlier breakdown, need for replacement, and additional expense out of your pocket. With a dental implant, all teeth are independent of the implant and do not experience the additional stress.
uring his 25+ years of providing dental implant restorations, Dr. Sambursky has heard repeatedly from patients that dental implants have improved their overall quality of life due to the natural look and function dental implants offer over other options. Hear more from Dr. Sambursky directly on dental implants for a single tooth in this recent interview with the Wellness Hour. Then call 607.798.0789 for your personal consultation with the Dental Solutions of Binghamton team to determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants.