For many people, a single missing tooth may not seem like something you need to worry about. But even one missing tooth can have an impact on both your oral health and self-esteem. It can impact your ability to speak clearly, chew certain foods properly, and make you want to hide your smile. You should have a smile that you’re proud to show off.
Dr. Alan Dechter and Dr. Matthew Moy provide single dental implants in our Silver Spring, MD dental office. We recommend that you replace your lost tooth as soon as possible before you suffer from the negative effects of a missing tooth.
Why Replace a Missing Tooth?
In addition to problems with your self-esteem and daily life, missing just one tooth can affect your oral health, facial structure, and ability to chew food. You may have difficulty chewing or swallowing; this is important for absorbing nutrients from food. These factors can lead to issues such as bone loss, decay and gum disease that are difficult to treat even with regular brushing and flossing. It is possible to replace missing teeth by allowing the surrounding dental implants to fuse with your jaw bone.
More Oral Health Issues Can Arise
Missing teeth can have a serious impact on your overall health. When you have one or more lost teeth, the surrounding teeth can shift into the space to fill in the gap. This can create misalignment issues. If you’ve had teeth-straightening treatment before, a missing tooth can completely ruin the results.
Misalignment issues may also lead to tooth decay, chronic bad breath, and gum disease, which can cause teeth to be loose or fall out entirely. Even worse, missing teeth can lead to bite problems that put you at risk for oral discomfort as well as problems in other parts of your body like jaw pain and headaches.
It Affects The Way You Look
Missing teeth can have a negative impact on your smile. For example, if you lost a single front tooth, you may notice its absence when you smile in photographs.
When you’re missing a tooth, the jawbone in that area deteriorates. This gives you the appearance of a sunken face and can cause issues with the surrounding teeth. Your facial structure is heavily dependent on the shape of your jaw and teeth. Without the support, you will notice premature facial sagging if you are missing enough teeth.
Replacing A Single Missing Tooth
If you’re missing a single tooth, you have a couple of options to treat the problem. The first option is to leave the tooth alone and rely on bridgework or dentures to fill in the gap. The other option is to use a dental implant as part of your treatment plan. Both options have pros and cons, but there are many reasons why dental implants can be a great solution for replacing a single missing tooth.
Using A Dental Bridge
When you’re missing one tooth, you have two tooth replacement options. The first is a traditional dental bridge. The two teeth that are on the sides of the missing gap will be prepared to support the bridge. This means removing a significant amount of tooth structure. While this is the more cost-effective option, it also means compromising perfectly healthy teeth. There are also future costs that you have to consider, such as maintenance and replacement.
A Single Dental Implant
A single dental implant is the other option. The implant will secure a single, custom-made dental crown. The process is straightforward, but spans over a period of time. First your dentist will place a titanium implant post into your jawbone. It will spur jawbone regeneration and fuse with the bone to replace the tooth root. After we let your mouth heal over a couple of weeks, the dentist will attach a custom-made dental crown to complete the dental prosthetic.
There are many benefits dental implants have over other restoration options. For starters, you won’t have to damage any existing teeth to support the restoration. Dr. Dechter and Dr. Moy will recommend a dental implant whenever possible because of the many benefits it carries. The benefits of replacing a single lost tooth using a dental implant include:
- No bone loss, and spurred bone regeneration
- Ability to eat whatever foods you desire
- Returns 100% functionality to your mouth
- Easy to maintain with regular brushing and flossing
- No extra steps to your oral health routine
- Looks and feels the most natural out of all options
- Permanent restoration with no chance of deterioration
The Cost of a Single Dental Implant
The biggest issue for many patients is that a dental implant does cost more upfront. However, it’s important to look at the long-term benefits. For example, using a dental bridge comes with future costs such as periodic replacement. There’s the high likelihood of replacing or repairing the bridge in the future. There’s also a high likelihood of the anchor teeth suffering from tooth decay or damage.
We also make it as easy as possible for our patients to afford the dental care that they need. While insurance often doesn’t cover dental implants, we’ll work with them to see if they’ll cover the fabrication of the dental crown or other parts of the procedure. We also offer third-party financing through CareCredit and other lenders.
Getting a single dental implant in Silver Spring, MD has never been easier. A single dental implant is the best option to replace one missing tooth in your smile. Call us at (301) 508-9755 or request an appointment online for treatment today.