According to the American College of Prosthodontists, about 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth. If you count yourself among this crowd, then replacing a lost tooth is essential not only for the sake of your smile but also for your overall health and well being, too. One missing tooth can make certain foods difficult to eat, cause problems with speech and lead to low self-confidence. Talk to Dr. Patel about dental implants in Virginia Beach. With a single implant to replace your tooth, you’ll have a complete smile and avoid all the negative side effects.
There are two ways to replace a single missing tooth. A dental implant is the first choice and a bridge is the second. Here’s a description of both.
A single tooth dental implant is a stand-alone replacement for both the root and crown of a missing tooth. The actual implant is a small screw-like post made of titanium, which is a biocompatible metal. The post is surgically embedded in your jaw to hold a crown restoration in place and to maintain jawbone health. To implant the post, the dentist makes an incision in your gums and removes a small section of the bone. Then, the post is secured in that spot. Your gums will heal in a couple of weeks, but the post and your jawbone will need several months to bond. After this, the dental crown is attached to the post and the replacement tooth will look and perform just like one of your natural teeth.
A fixed bridge is also called a crown and bridge. This oral device consists of one false tooth that rests between two dental crowns. The crowns are secured over healthy teeth next to the gap in your smile, thereby holding the false tooth in place. A bridge’s dental crowns and false tooth are made as a single unit, so the dentist in Virginia Beach can place them at the same time. In addition to rebuilding your smile, a bridge restores dental function and prevents adjacent teeth from shifting into the vacant space.
Although both a fixed bridge and a dental implant will restore the form and function of your smile, implants are unique in the benefits they offer.
If you have a single missing tooth, call your Virginia Beach dentist today. A dental implant will restore your smile and provide added oral and general health benefits, too.