A general dentistry office provides many important services, including replacing missing teeth. Many Americans have multiple decayed or missing teeth. But finding the ideal replacement is vital for a beautiful and healthy smile. One common option is a dental bridge.A bridge is a dental restoration that is usually used to fill the space where one…
Missing Tooth FAQs
Whether you have always had a missing tooth, are preparing to have a tooth removed or need to know what to do after losing one due to injury, chances are good that you have some questions. A missing tooth is a fairly common issue, and staying informed can help with formulating a plan to resolve the situation and return to normal.
What causes missing teeth?
According to the American College of Prosthodontics, there are three common causes of missing teeth.
Sometimes, people are born with some of their teeth missing. When the missing teeth are due to genetics, the trait is usually seen in multiple family members. It is possible to be born without any particular tooth due to genetics, but this condition more commonly affects certain teeth:
- Upper lateral incisors (the teeth on either side of the front teeth)
- Wisdom teeth
- Second premolars (either on the upper or lower jaw)
Often, tooth decay starts with a cavity. When a dental cavity is not treated quickly, bacteria continue to eat their way deeper into the tooth. A very decayed tooth can sometimes be effectively treated with a root canal. In severe cases, the tooth may be too decayed to save, and the entire tooth will need to be removed.
A missing tooth can sometimes be caused by gum disease. Gum disease makes the bone in the jaw deteriorate. When that deterioration is significant, it can result in tooth loss.
How can a missing tooth be treated?
A missing tooth often impacts someone's smile. Even if the missing tooth is farther back in the mouth, it may cause issues with chewing or even with facial structure. The American Dental Association recommends three procedures for replacing missing teeth.
Placing an implant is usually a multistep surgical procedure, but the end result is the most similar to a natural tooth. First, a metal rod (usually titanium) is placed in the jaw. It acts as a replacement tooth root. Then a crown is attached. These artificial teeth are made to match the other teeth in a patient’s mouth.
This solution also takes multiple steps. It uses two existing teeth to support a replacement tooth. A dentist or oral surgeon prepares two teeth on either side of the missing tooth, which usually involves shaping them to support crowns. The crowns are placed over the prepared teeth, and then an artificial tooth, called a pontic, is fused to both. This solution helps patients avoid having an implant placed.
Removable partial dentures
These dentures are typically made of high-quality plastic. They clip onto existing teeth, and they can be removed for cleaning. Usually, dentists recommend that patients do not wear removable partial dentures all day; they are often taken out when patients go to sleep and then replaced in the morning.
Dealing with a missing tooth can be challenging, but a dental professional can help patients decide on the appropriate course of treatment. A quality replacement tooth allows patients to quickly regain a natural, beautiful smile.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
For patients who need teeth alignment treatment but are concerned about the obvious appearance of metal braces, clear braces can be the answer. With more than a decade of success, clear aligners such as ClearCorrect® can put a smile on the faces of dentists and patients alike.Clear aligners offer several advantages over metal braces: Looks…
There are a lot of different treatments for gum disease, all of which are determined based on the severity of the infection. Some procedures can be done by a general dentist and hygienist, while others may require a periodontist and oral surgeon.Gum disease should never go untreated! In this article, we discuss the different treatments…
Like many other kinds of dental appliances, dentures may need to be repaired every now and then. The material that makes them up can become fatigued or eroded. A fracture in a denture is also not uncommon. The longer you wear your dentures, the more likely it is that you will need to have them…