If you need to replace a missing tooth, there are several options to choose from. Your final selection will depend on many factors, but here are some of the biggest aspects of the decision.
What Options Are Common?
Before looking at what affects your tooth replacement options, you might want to know what options you have to begin with. Dental implants are one of the most common choices. With this option, a tooth prosthetic is custom made and fitted into your jawbone. Dental bridges are a second option. They allow the dentist to create an apparatus that fits around the teeth surrounding the tooth gap, so that a fake tooth can be held in place. Dentures are another option, and they can come with a full replacement of your teeth or with only replacing a select few.
The Location of Teeth Matters
The first thing that may affect your choice is the location of the missing teeth. When the teeth are located in the front of your mouth, aesthetics is of the utmost importance. Dental bridges are probably out, since this fix might be more visible when you smile. The best option is probably dental implants, since these will fit directly into the base of your mouth and don't require any supporting materials.
Your Jawbone Health Is a Factor
Your dentist will need to check on the health of your jaw. They will look at the quantity of bone that's there; diseases such as osteoporosis can affect the bone density and quantity. They will also look at the quality and health of the bone that is present. With a positive conclusion, you will have all three options open to you. If the quality of the bone isn't sufficient, it does make dental implants more difficult. They rely on your bone mass to support them. It might be possible to take bone from another area and graft it onto your jawbone in the area of the missing tooth, however.
Your Overall Health Is Considered
Before recommending oral surgery, your dentist will also need to evaluate your overall health. They may look at your ability to take antibiotics or receive general and local anesthesia. They might ask how you've recovered from surgery or injuries in the past. Since dental implants involve an oral surgery, they will need to be cleared by your health professionals first.
As you can see, the choice for tooth replacement can incorporate many elements. With a quality family dentist, you will be provided with all of the information you need to make the right decision.
For more information and options, talk with an oral surgeon or dental specialist, such as those at DSW Dental.