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Two Options To Replace A Missing Front Tooth

An accident that leads to the loss of one your front teeth can also hit a major blow to your self confidence. Unlike a rear molar, there is simply no way to hide the empty spot unless you give up talking and smiling completely. Fortunately, there are a few options for replacement. The following guide will help you determine which one you are the best candidate for.

Option #1: Dental implant

Dental implants, once finished with a crown, look and act just like your natural tooth. They even need the same basic care, so there is never anything extra to worry about. An implant is simply a metal post that is inserted into the jaw bone. A crown, made to resemble your natural tooth in shape and color, is then installed on the post. No one will ever know it isn't a real tooth. Implants work well if you meet the following restrictions:

  • Healthy bones and gum – an implant may not be a possibility if you have advanced periodontitis with major bone and gum loss.

  • Good dental hygiene – poor hygiene can inhibit the healing process so that the implant is rejected.

  • Nonsmoker – smoking slows circulation and impedes healing, which means the implant may not fuse properly with the bone.

If you can meet these restrictions, then an implant is your best option.

Option #2: A permanent bridge

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A bridge is a crown suspended between two teeth. It's possible to have an invisible bridge installed. For these, the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth are filed down. A three-tooth crown is then created. Two of the teeth are hollowed out so they can be slipped over the filed teeth, and between them is suspended the replacement teeth. Crowns aren't quite as durable as implants, but they are a good choice if the following applies to your situation:

  • You are not eligible for implants due to periodontal disease or other health issues.

  • You aren't willing or able to undergo the surgical procedures associated with implant placement.

  • You prefer a nearly immediate solution – implants can take a couple of months from beginning to end, while a bridge can be placed within a week or two (the length of time it typically takes to fabricate the crowns).

Bridges are also sometimes less expensive than an implant since there is no surgery performed. Talk with a dentist like Kilby Family Dentistry who specializes in tooth replacement before making your final decision.