A missing tooth can be a hit to your self-confidence, but you don’t have to go through each day trying not to smile. There are several options that your dentist may recommend for filling that gap. If you need an honest and professional opinion on your pearly whites, give First Hill Dental Center a call. We know you have a lot of options in Seattle, but we believe we can provide exceptional dental service.
This is a common option for filling in gaps and there are a few types:
- Traditional: This method is common when there are two natural teeth on both sides of the gap and a crown is placed on top of the adjacent teeth. A downside to this method is that the healthy surrounding teeth need to have the enamel removed to allow room for the crown.
- Cantilever: Similar to traditional bridges, a cantilever is when a crown is used on only one side of the gap or when there is only one natural tooth to secure the crown to. The same preparation is involved with this method.
- Maryland: This method involves attaching the tooth replacement using a metal or porcelain frame that is bonded to the back of the two adjacent teeth. Because a crown isn’t used, the healthy teeth don’t need to be filed down; however, the frame may not hold in place and may get in the way of your gums and bite.
- Implant-Supported: This method is often used when there is more than one tooth missing. An implant for each missing tooth is used to support the bridge, instead of using crowns or frames.
Complete and Partial Dentures
A complete denture is when all of the teeth need replacing and a partial denture is when just a few teeth are missing.
- With partial dentures, one or more gap needs to be filled. The replacement teeth are often attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base and is sometimes connected with a metal framework.
- With complete dentures, the gum tissue is allowed to heal and the dentures are placed in the mouth eight to 12 weeks later.
A dental implant consists of a bridge, crown, or denture that is secured using a surgically attached titanium post. When the posts are in place they will bond to the bone and a connector is used to keep the artificial teeth attached to the implant. There are many benefits to dental implants, including:
- Build to Last: When they are properly placed and cared for a dental implant can last for about 25 years, whereas bridges or dentures need to be replaced every five to 15 years.
- Eating is Easier: With dentures, wearers often worry about sliding, being unable to chew, and time-consuming maintenance. With a dental implant, it looks and feels like a natural tooth, making it easy to eat without additional effort or pain.
- Full Tooth Replacement: Many gap filling methods only focus on the crown of the tooth and the roots and jawbone are left alone. With the post implant, essential parts of the teeth play an integral part. The roots of your teeth are attached to your jaw, which hold them in place. The post act as your tooth’s root. This will encourage new tissue to grow and a natural bond will be created between bone and metal.
- Protect Healthy Teeth: Rather than grinding down the enamel of adjacent, healthy teeth, a dental implant secures the tooth with the post instead of to adjacent teeth. This means that your healthy teeth don’t need to be damaged in order to fill the gap. In addition, the teeth that are ground down will always need to be protected with a crown, even if you choose to switch from a bridge to a dental implant.
What is the Cost?
A common worry for patients researching dental implants versus other tooth replacement methods is the cost. Typically, the cost for the above methods are similar. Consult with a dentist at First Hill Dental Center to learn about insurance and financing options.
If you have a gap in your teeth and need a boost in confidence, there are many options to choose from. To learn what is best for your teeth and finances, the dentists at First Hill Dental Center can help. Don’t let a missing tooth get in the way of your day, give us a call today.