Having a missing tooth is not ideal and can make you feel uncomfortable, especially when smiling. For these reasons, it is extremely important to replace that tooth, not only as an esthetic problem, it can lead to bone loss, changes in structure, and drifting of the adjacent teeth.
Solution: crown and bridge or dental implant.
A dental implant is most closely resembles a natural tooth. Some benefits of dental implants are:
- Bone preservation.
- Natural look and feel
- Unaffected adjacent teeth
A bridge is a frame on which two crowns and a false tooth are attached. There are three parts because the two healthy teeth on either side of the gap must be ground down to anchor the bridge. The bridge covers the prepared teeth that are left after grinding. The false tooth would sit in the missing tooth location above the gum. The bridge does not replace the root of the missing tooth so the bone loss can occur.
The cost of a bridge can be less expensive than dental implants, however, the life span of a bridge is typically less than an implant. Furthermore, the adjacent teeth that were prepared can be susceptible to future problems, like decay.
A dental implant option replaces the entire tooth and root without having to compromise any adjacent teeth. Dental implants might be more expensive than a bridge but it is designed to be a permanent solution.
Between Dr. Cohen and yourself, you can decide which option would be right for you.