As an adult, losing a tooth, doesn’t bring the joy you had as kid, anticipating a visit from the tooth fairy.
Unfortunately, when it comes to missing teeth, there’s no lost and found. In fact, 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and it’s estimated that by the age of 50 the average American will have lost 12 teeth, including their wisdom teeth.
What causes tooth loss? Tooth decay, gum disease and dental injuries.
So, even if though your missing tooth isn’t coming back, and there’s no chance of any monetary compensation under your pillow, there’s still some good news. Your friendly neighborhood Burien dentist has options to replace your missing tooth, or teeth, so that you’ll be able to eat the foods you love and also fill in your smile for any photo opps.
Here are 4 options to replace a missing tooth.
- Dental Implants – Think of implants as a replacement tooth with artificial roots. Dental implants are placed in your jawbone, with a screw, where they bond with your bone. This becomes a sturdy foundation from which to support one, or more, artificial teeth, like porcelain crowns. The nice part about dental implants is that they will look, feel and function like your natural teeth. And they are also long lasting.
- Dental Bridge – When you have a missing tooth, a bridge will fill in this gap using a replacement tooth, often made of porcelain, or other materials. It is usually bonded to the surrounding teeth to provide better support. A dental bridge can replace one or two missing teeth, or even more it there is adequate support. Your neighboring natural teeth will support the bridge.
- Removable Partial Denture – Unlike a fixed dental bridge, you can take partial dentures out of your mouth for cleaning, or when you sleep. This option involves fixing the replacement tooth, or teeth, to a plastic base that matches the color of your gums.
- Removable Complete Denture – Unlike partial dentures that replace a missing tooth, or a section of missing teeth, a removable complete denture usually replaces most of your teeth. Dentures are functional and aesthetic, but they are not as comfortable to wear throughout the day.
If you’re ready to replace a missing tooth, or teeth, we can help you restore the functionality of your teeth, and regain your smile. Just contact us for a consultation – call (206) 242-0066 or request an appointment online. Dr. Beffa will examine your teeth, discuss the pros and cons of each tooth replacement option, and help you determine with specific treatment might work best for your needs.
P.S. If you haven’t lost a tooth yet, you can protect yourself from tooth loss. Brush and floss daily, visit your dentist twice a year and protect your teeth with a sports mouth guard, when you play sports or recreate. Compared to the cost of replacing a tooth, spending a little more time protecting the teeth you have will serve you well.