You’re missing a tooth.  Whether you were born with out it, lost it many years ago, or need to have it removed now, the good news is you have options for replacing it.  You will be able to chew the foods you want, smile with confidence, and maintain your oral health.
Why replace the tooth?  A missing tooth can be detrimental to your oral health.  Malocclusion, the misalignment or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches, occurs when a tooth is missing.  This can cause jaw pain, grinding, and shifting of the teeth into uncomfortable positions.  As teeth shift into the space of the missing tooth, keeping the gums and teeth clean can become more difficult.  Bone loss in the missing tooth space can lead to bone loss of the surrounding teeth.  This causes supra-eruption:  the teeth move further out of the bone causing them to be loose or more susceptible to breakage or falling out.

What exactly is a bridge? A bridge is a dental restoration that is made of crowns that fit over the existing teeth with pontics (fake teeth) in between them to fill space from a missing tooth.  After the teeth are prepared, an impression is taken and sent to the lab to be fabricated to match your existing tooth shape and color.  The bridge is cemented over the prepared teeth with the replacement pontics fitting close to the gumline for a natural look.

Why should you consider a dental implant instead of a bridge?  A dental implant allows a one tooth problem to stay a one tooth problem.  Bridges require preparing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth that may not need restorations.  An implant functions as a single tooth replacement that integrates with the jaw and is the closest thing to actual tooth replacement.  A simple surgical procedure places the implant into the jaw.  After the implant has integrated and healed, the implant can be restored with an abutment (connector) and implant crown for a completely natural look.  Easier to brush and floss than a bridge, the implant can be a lifelong replacement while a bridge can be susceptible to decay like a normal tooth.

Decisions, decisions… don’t feel pressured.  Drs. Barker, Kissinger, and Svoboda offer complimentary consultations to discuss which tooth replacement option is the best one for you.