Throughout childhood, losing a tooth isn’t usually a cause for concern — in fact, if the Tooth Fairy is involved, it may even be a cause for celebration. But losing a tooth as an adult can be a stressful situation.
Often, losing an adult tooth is either the result of an underlying oral health issue, like tooth decay, or some kind of traumatic accident, like a sports injury.
If you’ve lost a tooth, your best course of action is often to replace it. At MI Smiles Dental, we offer a variety of teeth replacement options so you can pick the procedure that’s best for you and your smile.
To replace a single tooth, we can use a dental crown, a dental bridge, or a dental implant.
Dental crowns are the best option for people who have only lost part of their tooth. Crowns don’t technically replace teeth; they simply cover them like a cap.
If your tooth has been chipped or cracked, a crown can easily fit on top of it and restore the functionality of that tooth. Crowns are also great options if your tooth is still intact but fragile, such as a tooth with a large filling.
It’s important to make sure your new crown fits snugly onto your existing tooth. That’s why our dentists will first remove some enamel from your tooth so the crown can fit without feeling overly large or bulky. Our dental crown dentists will take impressions of your tooth to send to a lab so your crown will be custom made for your tooth. At your second appointment, they’ll fit your tooth with its crown and make sure it matches the rest of your teeth in size, shape, and color.
Dental bridges are a great option for people who have completely lost a tooth, but their surrounding teeth are still healthy and strong.
A dental bridge places an artificial tooth in your gap and anchors it onto the teeth that are on either side of it. The artificial tooth is attached to two crowns that will be placed onto the teeth adjacent to your gap. This way, you get the functionality of a new tooth without having to install an implant into your jawbone.
Dental implants are the best option for people who need strong, durable teeth replacements. Implants are metal posts, usually made of titanium, that are fused to your jawbone to replace your teeth. It can take many months for your implant to fuse completely (a process known as osseointegration), but once it has, our dentists will then top the implant with a crown to complete your smile.
Although the procedure to get a dental implant is lengthy, it’s also one of the most durable options when it comes to replacing your tooth. Many implants, with proper care, can last a lifetime. It’s also the only option that doesn’t require a dentist to remove enamel from your teeth, which is a better option for your oral health over time.
If you need multiple teeth replaced, you may want to consider dentures. Dentures can replace all of your teeth, or you can get partial dentures to replace just some of your teeth.
You may need more than one tooth replaced, but not a complete portion of your smile. If that’s the case, you may want to consider just getting a dental crown for each tooth.
Our West Michigan tooth replacement dentists can help you determine whether crowns, bridges, implants, or dentures are right for you. With four practices in West Michigan, we have the capability of handling all of your family’s dental needs. To schedule an appointment, call MI Smiles Dental at (616) 974-4990.
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