If you need to replace only one tooth, a dental implant is often the best treatment option. An implant is free-standing, which means it does not require involvement of healthy teeth, such as “grinding down” of adjacent teeth for a traditional bridge. Also, dental implants are extremely cost-effective. Compared to crowns or bridges placed on natural teeth– which require eventual replacement– the titanium framework of a dental implant is immune to decay or fracture, which means the implant will last as long as you do. Finally, because the implant simulates a real tooth root, it actually integrates with the underlying bone. That means the implant is able to stimulate healthy bone levels and prevent the bone loss that occurs in the absence of a tooth.
When a Tooth is Missing
Why shouldn’t you ignore a missing tooth? It is extremely important to replace a missing tooth or non-restorable tooth as soon as possible. As soon as a tooth is missing, the adjacent teeth begin shifting into the direction of the empty space. This can lead to crooked or misaligned teeth and can affect your bite. If not addressed early, the space may become so small that a later decision to have an implant placed may not be possible.