Cosmetic dentistry techniques for single tooth replacements have come a long way in the last few decades. At The Dental Group of East Brunswick, our dentist is up to date on these advances. Dentistry of this nature is complicated by the different configuration of each person’s teeth, mouth, bone structure, and health. However, there are a number of options to choose from that can be used to do a single tooth replacement.
A dental bridge is a classic, and relatively inexpensive, method of single tooth replacement. Dental bridges are made up of teeth “dummies,” known as a pontic, which are formed with crowns on either end, made to fit each patient’s teeth. Pontics are the part that is made to fill the actual gap. The crowns act as anchors, also called “abutments,” that are needed to keep the bridge in place. These anchors are living teeth that are shaped to accommodate the crowns. This arrangement is engineered to hold everything firmly in place. This method is one of the least expensive ways to replace a missing tooth, or a few missing teeth, because it is minimally invasive in comparison to other methods. This method is also the fastest way to fill in a gap, as a temporary bridge can be cemented in place while final adjustments are made. This allows a patient to have a quick solution to the loss of a tooth.
The most permanent, natural, and functional method of single tooth replacement is a dental implant. Dental implants replace the missing tooth with a titanium socket that is implanted into the jaw bone, anchoring it permanently in place. This is done surgically and requires healing time. After the implant has healed, a tooth made of porcelain is screwed onto the titanium rod. This provides a strong, firmly anchored tooth that looks and functions just like a natural tooth. It is indistinguishable from a patient’s other natural teeth because the socket lies below the gumline. In addition to other advantages, this method helps prevent the gum and bone loss that can occur over time at the site of missing teeth due to lack of stimulation. It also keeps other teeth from drifting into the gap, which can create spacing problems later. The only real downside to this method of single tooth replacement is the cost. This method may not be appropriate for patients who have problems healing properly because the healing of the socket is necessary.
Contact Dr. Nahel Yanni’s dental clinic today to schedule an appointment for a single tooth replacement.