Lost a Tooth? Replace it With a Dental Implant

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Lost a Tooth? Replace it With a Dental Implant

Losing a tooth can be a traumatic experience for anyone. Teeth are lost to accidents every day, but a more common cause is infection and structural damage. We do our best to save damaged teeth, but deep decay or a deep crack can often mean the tooth must be extracted. Regardless of the cause, having a gap in your smile can make you feel like hiding your face from the world. No one should have to feel that way. If you’ve lost a tooth, you should take the time to learn about your prosthetic tooth replacement options. Traditional dental bridgework is better than leaving a gap in your teeth, but Grant Park dental implants are better for your long-term oral health.

Have you lost a tooth? Dr. Abbey Lee provides Grant Park dental implants and dental bridges. Call 404-328-7177 to learn about replacing a missing tooth.

Why You Shouldn’t Leave a Gap in Your Smile

Most patients are highly motivated to correct a gap when they’ve lost a tooth, due to the cosmetic implications. You just don’t look the same with an “open window” in your smile. But did you know there are health reasons why you should replace a missing tooth? Patients who lose a tooth and don’t get it replaced are far more likely to lose teeth in the future. When there is extra space in your row of teeth, the adjacent teeth begin to shift into the open space. This can cause many of your teeth to become misaligned and ultimately change your bite. If your top and bottom teeth don’t fit together properly when you bite and chew, this can lead to extra friction and eroded enamel. Ultimately, your teeth may become more prone to cracking and infection. Replacing a lost tooth promptly can help you avoid shifting teeth and structural damage.

Dental Bridges

The traditional way to replace a missing tooth is with a tooth bridge. This structure looks like a connected row of three prosthetic teeth. The teeth on the ends are actually crowns, which are permanently bonded to the teeth next to the gap. The tooth in the middle of the bridge serves as a replacement for the tooth you lost.

There are several benefits to a tooth bridge:

  • Stabilizes the teeth and prevents shifting
  • Replaces your missing tooth above the gum line
  • Looks natural in your smile
  • Takes only a couple of weeks to create
  • Lower upfront costs than an implant

Dental bridges do have some drawbacks, of course. They are dependent on your other teeth, for one. If one of the teeth supporting the bridge should fail, the whole bridge will fail. You may be left with two missing teeth instead of one. Another thing to consider is that a bridge does not replace the tooth root; it only replaces the tooth above the gum line. Why does this matter? Without a root in your jaw, you will slowly lose bone mass from the jaw as the years pass. This is not as noticeable as with patients who wear full dentures, but it will happen.

Benefits of a Dental Implant

Grant Park dental implants are different from bridgework because they replace the whole tooth, root to crown. Implant and crown treatments create a free-standing prosthetic tooth, so it won’t affect your other teeth. Most patients who are treated with a single implant and crown report that it feels almost identical to their natural tooth. You don’t have to put crowns on otherwise healthy teeth to get an implant

The benefits of a dental implant include:

  • It provides a permanent replacement for your missing tooth.
  • It encourages better long-term bone health.
  • It will not affect other teeth.
  • It feels more natural than a bridge.

A Word About Cost Comparison

There’s no denying the fact that a dental implant costs a good deal more than a dental bridge. However, what you have to think about is the fact that a bridge has a finite lifespan and will need to be replaced approximately every 8-10 years. Dental implants rarely need to be replaced, on the other hand. This means that, over time, a dental implant can actually save you money (and trips to the dentist). Considering the added benefit of continuing bone mass with an implant, dentists always encourage patients to choose implants whenever possible.

Visit our office to learn more about Grant Park dental implants at Smiles 4 Grant Park. We love to help our patients smile again! Call us at 404-328-7177 for a consultation for Grant Park dental implants or bridgework.

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