3 Restorative Dentistry Approaches To Replace Missing Teeth

Posted on: 20 October 2020

A missing tooth can cause a variety of dental issues. Fortunately, if you replace missing teeth quickly, you can avoid complications like bone loss. Restorative dentistry has several approaches that can replace a missing tooth. Before you decide which approach will work best for you, it helps to understand the differences between them.

1. Dental Implants

If you need to restore two or more teeth, then dental implants are the most effective way to do that. Dental implants have two things in common with natural teeth. The first is that the titanium post placed in your jawbone to support the porcelain crown stimulates bone growth. This helps to keep the dental implant stable, much like a natural tooth's root.

The second thing dental implants have in common with natural teeth is functionality. A dental implant provides the same stability and durability as a natural tooth for eating and speaking. If you have a large budget and are willing to wait several months for healing to take place, dental implants are right for you.   

2. Implant-Supported Bridge

If you need to replace two or more teeth in the same row, but don't have a large budget, then the second-best option is an implant supported bridge. This type of bridge consists of a single implant attached to a pontic or false tooth. The dental implant provides the pontic with the support it needs while you chew your food.

And, if you want to replace three teeth, you can opt for two dental implants that support a single pontic between the two implants.

However, if you want something faster, then a traditional or cantilever bridge is best.

3. Traditional or Cantilever Bridges

Traditional bridges and cantilever are cheaper and faster than both dental implants and dental implant-supported bridges, and take only about 2 weeks to place. But one downside to both of these types is that they rely on the support of the natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth.

To place a traditional bridge, a dentist needs to place dental crowns on the two teeth on either side of a missing tooth. These two crowns support one or more pontics placed between them. And a cantilever bridge consists of just one dental crown and one pontic. This is a good option if you only have one tooth available to support a pontic, or if you don't wish to crown two teeth.

These three approaches can all restore lost teeth. But don't wait too long to act. If bone loss occurs, you will need to add months onto your treatment time to get a bone graft for a dental implant.