tooth replacement options

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. Our West Michigan dentists are here to help you navigate this time in your life.

Oftentimes, adult tooth loss is 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 pursue replacement.

Here are 3 tooth replacement options that we offer at MI Smiles Dental.

1. Dental Crowns

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 dentists will take impressions of your tooth to send to a dental lab so your crown will be custom made for your mouth. At your second appointment, we’ll fit your tooth with its crown and make sure it matches the rest of your teeth in size, shape, and color.

Common Instances That Call For a Dental Crown Include:

  • Post root canal treatment
  • Broken or severely worn tooth
  • Needed to hold a dental bridge in place or complete the dental implant process

2. Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are great for patients who have completely lost a tooth, but their surrounding teeth are still healthy and strong.

A dental bridge places an artificial tooth (pontic) 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 Bridges Can Help Get Rid Of:

  • Bite problems (how your teeth come together)
  • Chewing Difficulties
  • Discomfort and pain associated with the extra stress being put on your teeth and jaw
  • Feelings of self-consciousness with regards to your smile

3. Dental Implants

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 a few 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 entire process involved in getting 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 daily care, can last a lifetime. It’s also the only option that doesn’t require the removal of natural enamel from your teeth, which is a better option for your oral health over time.

What If I Need Multiple Teeth Replaced?

If you need multiple teeth replaced such as an entire upper or lower arch, you may want to consider dentures. Dentures can replace all your teeth, or you can get partial dentures to replace just some of your teeth.

Our dentists will be sure to speak with you about what is best for your oral health. All of our patients are different and what works for one may not work for another. A big part of the decision is finding what you’re most comfortable having for yourself.

Replace Your Tooth and Smile with Confidence

Our dentists in West Michigan can help you determine whether crowns, bridges, implants, or dentures are right for you. To learn more about your options and schedule an appointment, call one of our MI Smiles Dental locations.

This blog post has been updated.