Are you missing at least one of your natural teeth? You may be surprised to learn that you are in the majority of adults. According to information from the American College of Prosthodontists, 178 million people are missing at least one tooth. Of those age 65 and older, about a third have no teeth left at all.
As periodontists in San Antonio, TX can tell you, living with a missing tooth is usually not your best option. Instead, you should speak with a dental provider about replacing your natural tooth with a dental bridge or dental implant. That way, you can avoid some of the biggest problems that come with missing teeth, such as difficulty chewing, problems speaking, and lowered self-confidence in social situations.
What Natural Tooth Replacement Is Best for Your Needs?
Of course, you may wonder if you are better suited for placement of a dental bridge or a single dental implant. The answer, as you might suspect, depends on a number of factors. However, you should first understand the similarities and differences between these two treatments for lost teeth.
Dental bridges cosmetically replace your missing tooth by essentially filling in the gap in your smile. A dental bridge is a prosthetic device created just for your mouth. The teeth on either side of your lost tooth serve as “anchors” to a prosthetic tooth that fits right in. Accordingly, the process to receive a dental bridge permanently affects the healthy teeth on either side of your “smile gap.” For that reason, and the fact that bridges need to be replaced about every 10-15 years, many patients with missing teeth prefer to receive dental implants in San Antonio instead.
What makes a dental implant such a solid solution to the problem of a single missing tooth, not to mention a step up from a bridge? Dental implants by their very nature replicate teeth as closely as possible, right down to stimulating the jaw bone. That way, you avoid losing bone along with your missing tooth—and you get the health benefits that come from a strong, natural-looking jawline.
How does a dental implant work? An implant is made up of several parts. The most critical one is a biocompatible titanium post that is surgically implanted into your jaw. The post fuses with your jaw bone just like a natural tooth root would. After the fusion occurs, a dental crown that shows above the gum line is attached to the post. Once in place, your dental implant can last a lifetime as long as you make your oral healthcare a priority.
Is It Time to Replace Your Missing Tooth With a Dental Implant?
Just because you lost a tooth does not mean you have to live with an imperfect smile. If you are interested in talking with a periodontist about avoiding bone loss and aesthetic difficulties associated with missing teeth, arrange a visit to one of our offices today. One call to (210) 598-8933 with our doctor, Dr. Andrew J. Weber, is all it takes to set up an initial appointment at our San Antonio, New Braunfels, or Lockhille-Selma, TX locations!