Understanding Tooth Loss And Your Replacement Options
Tooth loss is the process by which one or more of your teeth fall out and, even if it might sound like a bad nightmare, you do have options when it comes to treatment. The dental bridge vs implant debate has been going on since dental implants came to be commonly used and as both technologies have improved, it’s becoming much more competitive.
Your friendly dentist at Doncaster Supreme Dental will advise you on the most appropriate long term strategy for your needs and how you can make the most informed choice for your future.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
Teeth can fall out, or be knocked out due to a number of reasons, including force or injury, poor dental hygiene and different lifestyle choices. On occasion it can be caused by medication or drugs.
Very often teeth are lost because of poor dental hygiene, which leads to cavities and gum disease. Once a single tooth is lost, it is important to fill the gap to prevent your other teeth from drifting out of position. When your teeth move out of position you will experience difficulties eating, can experience gum tissue and bone loss and structural changes to your face so it is important that you do bridge the gap.
Dental implants are small metal screws that are embedded into the jawbone. They form the base for a crown to be affixed, and to replace your natural tooth. A dental bridge is a false tooth fitted between two crowns that are cemented to the teeth on either side of the open space.
How Should You Fill The Gap?
The dental bridge vs implant debate begins here, because opinions are divided in terms of what the best strategy actually is for managing tooth loss. Of course the answer to that question will be different for each patient’s unique case.
If your tooth loss occurred due to poor dental hygiene a dental bridge may not be your best option. That’s because the bridge will be placed over your supporting teeth, making you more susceptible to further decay. If you do have a dental bridge fitted it is essential that you practice the highest level of hygiene.
If you happened to have lost more than one tooth, or lost teeth in different parts of your mouth dental implants may not be the best choice of treatment because they are more expensive than a bridge.
Treating The Root Cause Of The Problem
If you have lost a single tooth and can afford it, your dentist is most likely to recommend a dental implant. The more recent your tooth loss is, the better your chances of being eligible for a dental implant. That’s because your other teeth are unlikely to have started to drift into the open space and your other teeth will not be under as much strain.
Dental implants are a more permanent solution and can last for the rest of your life if they are well looked after.
The longer you leave an open space in your mouth, the more prone you are to drifting and bone loss.
In the event that you do not have enough jaw bone for embedding the implant, you may require a bone graft or a sinus lift. Of course, these would be additional procedures that would be added to the total cost, increasing the budget needed.
Replacing lost teeth is a complex procedure whether you opt for a bridge or implants. The best course of treatment is preventative maintenance, and it’s essential that you visit your dentist at least every six months to manage potential cavities before they develop into bigger problems.
Don’t wait any longer to deal with your tooth loss. Contact our professional team at Doncaster Supreme Dental (03) 9848 4989 for advice on the best long term strategy for your dental needs.