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Options to Replace Your Missing Tooth

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If you have suffered the loss of one of your teeth, your dentist may offer you multiple options to replace the missing tooth. Here are two of them: 

Porcelain Fixed Dental Bridges

Dental bridges have long been used to replace lost teeth. A conventional bridge is comprised of a bridge crown on each end of the device with a replacement tooth in the center. The bridge crowns fit over the teeth that border the empty space left by the lost tooth. Thus, the crown is fixed into position. 

The bridge crowns can also be connected to dental implants. 

In some instances, a conventional porcelain bridge is not preferred, and a fixed cantilever bridge is used. A cantilever bridge is made from a false tooth connected to a bridge crown. These types of bridges are typically used when only one tooth is available next to the gap from the missing tooth.

In order for the tooth replacement to blend well in your mouth, it must match the size and color of your other teeth. The color of a porcelain fixed bridge can be matched to the color of your natural tooth enamel. This, along with the natural luminescence of porcelain, ensures that the bridge looks more natural in the mouth. 

Also, the bridge is shaped based on the contours of your mouth. A mold is made of your oral cavity and used as a guide for the bridge's fabrication.

Implant Restorations

Dental implants can also replace missing teeth. An implant is drilled into the jawbone, where it connects or fuses to the bone during the months following the procedure. This results in a stable base for the placement of a connector and a dental crown. 

The implant replaces the lost dental root, and the crown restores the chewing ability and appearance of the tooth. Like the crowns of many fixed bridges, an implant crown is also frequently made of porcelain or porcelain-over metal.

The type of implant that is used is often dependent on the state of the jawbone and the gums at the site of the tooth replacement. If too little jawbone is remaining or the safe insertion of a conventional dental implant, a mini implant may be used. In some instances, the jawbone is so compromised that zygomatic implant is preferred. A zygomatic implant is positioned in the bone of the cheek instead of that of the jaw.

To learn more about tooth-replacement options that may be suitable for you, schedule a consultation with a dentist like Rick Chavez DDS in your area.