Patients who are facing the extraction of a diseased or damaged tooth often think ahead to replacing that tooth before it’s even been removed from the mouth. They want to minimize the time spent with a large gap in their smile.
When a single tooth is being removed, patients have a few options when it comes to a tooth replacement method. The most popular of those are fixed permanent bridges and dental implants.
A fixed permanent bridge holds a pontic (replacement crown) in place using dental crowns placed on adjoining teeth. Dental implants, on the other hand, are titanium screws that integrate with the jaw and act as artificial teeth roots. An implant is then topped with an abutment that holds the prosthetic crown in place.
After the tooth has been extracted, an oral surgeon will place the dental implant into the jaw. Over the course of a few months, the implant becomes a permanent fixture in the bone.
This surgery takes only a few hours in the office, and the patient can have a replacement crown placed that day to minimize time spent with a noticeably missing tooth.
Dental implants are a good choice for tooth replacement for a number of reasons. First, they offer a level of stability that is unmatched by the alternatives. The implant not only secures the dental crown, it also helps to keep the jawbone from eroding.
The implant stands alone, which is another advantage of this appliance. While the bridge requires neighboring teeth to sacrifice healthy enamel to accommodate a crown, the implant has no impact on the other teeth. This structural aspect also makes it easier to maintain dental implants, as the patient brushes and flosses the implant in the same way as the natural teeth.
You don’t necessarily have to get a dental implant to replace an extracted tooth, but in doing so, you’ll reap many rewards, both aesthetically and functionally. As you’re researching your choices, carefully consider whether a dental implant will be a good fit for you.
If you would like a personal consultation regarding your options following a tooth extraction, contact the skilled team at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates to schedule an appointment.