When people lose a tooth it comes as a shock, while the first permanent tooth extractions can be rather traumatizing. But with the right dental habits, dental staff and care, everything can get back to normal.
In today’s article, we will focus on the adult tooth loss issues and not on children’s oral care or baby teeth which often cover this topic. Also, the Tooth Fairy will have to join us some other time…
Usually, the first permanent teeth that are extracted are the first molars, since they are the first ones to erupt.
Permanent teeth are very important for the maintenance of the arch form. Patients should take tooth replacement very seriously as a means of preventing infection, unaesthetic look, gum diseases, tooth decay, bad breath, and costly and more intricate dental procedures.
The Most Common Procedure to Replace a Missing Tooth
When it comes to missing teeth, the most common step to replace a posterior single unit is to get a fixed bridge usually called a three-unit-fixed partial denture (FPD). This type of restoration can be fabricated within 1-2 weeks and satisfies the criteria of normal contour, well-being, function, esthetics, speech, and health.
FPDs Have Limitations
FPDs consist of 2 abutment teeth and an intermediary or a pontic. Thanks to these benefits, the fixed bridges have been the treatment of choice for the last 6 decades. However, the patient needs to be informed by his local dentist on their first dental visits that FPDs present a lot of limitations and have a restricted lifespan.
To make this type of tooth replacement possible, some dentists will need to prepare perfectly good teeth, in some cases even perform an endodontic treatment.
The main goal of these procedures is to obtain a final form of an abutment tooth that can be easily covered and still have retention.
The preparation of healthy teeth for a fixed unit bridge comes with a big loss of enamel and dentine. Adjacent teeth can be damaged proximally due to the preparation. The technique of tooth preparation must avoid and prevent damage to the adjacent tooth surfaces, but it cannot always be done.
Dental Bridge Failure Factors
All these taken into consideration, you should also know that the estimated lifespan of a fixed partial bridge is 10 years. Main causes of failure can be:
- caries of the abutment teeth
- endodontic failure
- fracture of an abutment tooth (cracked tooth)
Knowing all these, you should ask your dental care practitioner to explain all the options. For years now, patients have been advised to put their desires aside and accept the limitations of a fixed bridge. However, many feel the most natural method to replace a tooth is to use a dental implant, rather than preparing adjacent teeth and joining them together with a prosthesis.
The main reasons for suggesting the fixed bridges are its clinical ease and reduced treatment time. The primary reason to suggest or perform a treatment should not be related to time or level of difficulty, but should rather consider the best possible long-term solution for each patient. Expert advice in the industry proves it nonetheless.
The Most Natural Method to Replace a Tooth Is to Use a Dental Implant
If your missing tooth is in the back area, the following step would be a dental implant. The advantages of single-tooth implants are many:
- high success rate (97% of dental implants are still viable after 10 years)
- adjacent teeth have a lower risk of caries and thus contribute to an overall better oral health
- adjoining teeth do not need endodontic treatments and will be free of such treatment complications
- better esthetics of the adjacent teeth and
- less dental visits for cosmetic dentistry purposes
- bone level maintenance in the edentulous zone is improved
- prevent bone loss
- neighbouring teeth have decreased cold or contact sensitivity
- abutment tooth loss is decreased
- minimalised risk of periodontal disease in neighbouring teeth, thus less periodontal therapy sessions
- decreased healthy enamel destruction (since the adjoining teeth are no longer prepped)
- increased dental care due to easier oral hygiene practices
- psychological advantage
It goes without saying that there are some limitations and challenges in placing a single tooth dental implant, but they represent the best choice from an oral health and value standpoint.
Economic considerations might play in disfavour of the implant restoration, but there are options for this case too. We believe that everyone is entitled to the best treatment offered by dental professionals, with costs considerably lower than in the UK. You just need to be in the right place, at the right time, say, in Romania.
Just check our Mediwhere dental care platform and we promise to guide you through everything you might need in order to benefit from the best possible dental services and unbeatable costs, whether you opt for dental implants, cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening, or just some good expert advice on how to keep your permanent teeth healthy.