If you’ve had to extract a tooth, you’re probably seeking an alternative solution to replace it. You should be warned that a gap in your teeth can not only damage your aesthetic appearance, but your smiling confidence will be low and the gap can also reduce your ability to bite and chew smoothly.
As an extraction patient, you’re not expected to keep the gap. After a certain period of time, your mouth will have healed enough to consider cosmetic treatment to replace the missing gap.
The best replacement option available is dental implants. Providing you have strong bone density, an artificial crown that operates as a natural tooth will be placed on top of an abutment screw, infused into the jawbone.
Why Dental Implants?
Dental implants are considered a natural replacement for missing teeth. They are designed to function like your natural teeth, unlike other cosmetic treatments such as bridges and dentures, which need to be replaced over time.
Dental implants have a high success rate, meaning that the vast majority of patients who receive dental implants will have bonded to your jawbone successfully. For tooth extraction patients, your dentist is best placed to determine whether you are a candidate for immediate dental implants, or whether you’d need to wait a certain period of time.
Dental implants do not restrict you from eating your favourite foods. You can eat anything you want without the risk of your implant breaking. You’re likely to protect your implant more than your natural teeth initially. Once the implant settles, continue to eat what you like.
With tooth extraction, you’re in danger of bone resorption, where the bone weakens and shrinks itself. If you experience this, you likely need bone grafting treatment. An implant stimulates the jawbone and provides it with the density it needs to keep your facial structure strong.
Other Tooth Replacements
Conventional bridges and dentures are available as replacements for a missing tooth. Although, they’re not exactly recommended as a long term solution. Dental implants have the best longevity and are independent to themselves, meaning a single implant does not require any support from neighbouring teeth. Below breaks down how bridges and dentures are options you can choose:
- Dentures – Dentures are a removable tooth replacement option made out of acrylic. Dentures replace multiple upper and lower teeth which can also provide facial structure support and prevent it from degrading. Although, dentures aren’t exactly the best choice for a single tooth replacement, compared to multiple replacements.
- Bridges – A bridge is a fixed prosthetic device that connects the prosthetic tooth to the adjacent teeth, called abutment teeth, where the crowns are bonded to either side of a gap to the natural teeth. Bridges are a worthwhile option, but for longevity, it is not the best option and would require regular replacement.
Although dental implants are quite expensive compared to bridges and dentures, it will be worth the purchase. The benefits outweigh the cost because you’re replacing the gap with the most natural option. Maintenance is also quite low. Simply carry out a strong oral routine as you would for your natural teeth, such as brushing and flossing regularly and maintaining a balanced diet for long-term results.