Tooth Loss Due to Injury: What is the best tooth replacement option?
Patients who have lost a tooth due to injury have a number of tooth replacement methods that they may choose to restore a complete smile. They can get a fixed dental bridge, a partial denture or a dental implant to fill in the empty space.
When deciding on a tooth replacement treatment, it is important for patients to consider a host of factors, such as durability, aesthetics and functionality.
For a structurally complete prosthetic tooth, dental implants are recommended over other alternatives.
An oral surgeon will insert a titanium dental implant into a patient’s jaw, and over the course of the next several months, the bone material will form a biological bond with the surface of the implant. This process, known as osseointegration, allows the implant to serve as an artificial tooth root. None of the other tooth replacement alternatives have a similar structure to connect the prosthetic crown to the underlying bone.
Although the patient’s primary concern may be replacing the missing crown, the root actually performs a number of important functions in addition to supporting that crown.
First of all, the implant will help to preserve the quality of the surrounding bone. When a tooth’s root is lost and not replaced, as is the case with a bridge or denture, the bone will slowly wear away over time. That process may compromise the attachment of neighboring biological teeth.
Additionally, a dental implant stands alone and has no impact on adjacent teeth, while a dental bridge requires the neighboring teeth to sacrifice healthy enamel in order to accommodate the crowns that anchor the pontic (prosthetic crown).
Furthermore, since the implant provides a link between the jaw and the prosthetic crown, the implant can withstand chewing forces approximately as strong as a natural tooth can handle. This aspect of dental implants helps to preserve patients’ chewing function.
Dental implants have a number of advantages in comparison to other tooth replacement treatments. If you must replace a tooth lost to injury, schedule a consultation with our oral surgeon, Dr. Carlos Ibanez, to learn more about dental implants and the treatment process. Call 434-295-0911 for more information.