Patients who are in need of a single tooth replacement should carefully weigh all of their options, because each prosthetic appliance has implications for your long-term oral health and well-being. You need to get as much information as you can about dental implants and fixed dental bridges in order to make your final decision.
Keep in mind that a tooth replacement isn’t intended to merely restore a complete smile, although that is certainly one benefit. Your missing tooth plays an important functional role in your smile, as well. That’s why we encourage patients to think about a tooth replacement that is structurally complete, consisting of an artificial root and a crown, rather than a crown alone.
Dental implants are an optimal treatment approach for patients who want to maximize durability, functionality and longevity in the prosthetic appliance. Through the process of osseointegration, dental implants become fixtures in the patient’s jaw several months after the oral surgeon places them.
Having an oral surgeon place dental implants to fill in for a single missing tooth gives patients a number of benefits. First, the dental implant acts as an anchor to secure the jawbone. When only a crown is replaced, the bone tissue will wither away over time. As that jawbone atrophy unfolds, a conventional fixed dental bridge may not fit as well. Eventually, such an appliance may need to be replaced.
Additionally, dental implants stand alone without support from the abutment teeth. Therefore, no healthy biological teeth need to be altered to accommodate a dental crown, which is an important component of a fixed dental bridge.
Implant-supported crowns are also able to withstand fairly strong chewing forces, so patients can continue to enjoy all of their favorite foods. Alternatives may fall short in this important role.
Are you considering your options to replace an individual missing tooth? Come to our office to learn more about dental implants. Call Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to schedule your initial consultation.