What is all you want for Christmas? If you are missing a front tooth, I think I know. When you lose an incisor, it can be devastating because that is what everyone sees when you smile. Sometimes it’s from an accident or a dental problem, but it means a few visits to the dentist.
What can you do about it? Fortunately, there are options for a missing front tooth. It’s up to you to decide what is best when you have a missing front tooth. It is pretty devastating when you lose any teeth, much less your front ones, but your dentist is there to help restore your chompers and make them as painless as possible.
Remember, you have the rest of your life ahead of you. Replacing a missing front tooth can help you take on the world again, one smile at a time. Let’s learn about your five best missing front tooth options:
Option #1: Dental Implant
Dental implants are one of the best missing front tooth options. They will look and feel like a real tooth and requires no other teeth grinding. Unfortunately, it will take a surgical procedure to place prosthetic roots into the jaw bone, so it will last a lifetime. After the bone fuses with the implant, an abutment is attached to connect the implant and the tooth.
Once the artificial tooth is manufactured, you will go in for multiple visits to properly fit the tooth, so it aligns properly and feels right. Sometimes, dental implants are used for bridges as well.
Option #2: Do nothing.
As sad as this sounds, you may have to choose this option. It could be because of cost or because you hate going to the dentist, much less having dental surgery. This is something you need to be sure about because there are risks involved, including:
- Infection: Bacterial infection and disease may occur when there is a missing tooth. Food and bacteria can collect in the dental socket where brushing is hard to reach. Bacteria can travel into the bloodstream, leading to greater health risks.
- Misalignment: When there is a missing tooth, the surrounding teeth drift towards the gap. They need the support of other teeth to remain aligned and sit in the gums correctly. As they migrate, they can make contact causing too much pressure.
- Deterioration: Your teeth stimulate the gums, causing them to repair damaged cells, and without the tooth in place, the gum and jaw can deteriorate and be reabsorbed by the body. This diminishes the jawline and may even cause a facial collapse.
Option #3: Partial Denture
This removable retainer moulds your upper palate or lower jaw with an acrylic tooth attached. An impression is made of your mouth, and then the denture is manufactured to fill in the gap and sit comfortably in your mouth.
This flipper tooth is the most affordable option and is easy to get made as it only takes a day or two. It also helps to stabilize the other teeth and give you a natural appearance. Over time they will get worn, making them less comfortable, but they are great as a temporary solution.
Option #4: Bridge
A bridge is an artificial tooth that “bridges” the gap with crowns on either side of the missing tooth. It is permanent and requires cutting down healthy teeth on both sides to crown them and secure the whole area.
It does take several dental visits because they have to grind down the teeth to fit the crowns on. They then make an impression of the teeth for a model that the bridge is made from and more visits to properly fit the bridge in place.
This is a fixed bridge, but an adhesive bridge is also a prosthetic tooth held in place by wings attached to the back of both adjacent teeth using a strong adhesive.
Option #5: Put your tooth back in.
Accidents happen, and if you are quick enough, you can put your tooth back in. The first thing to do is pick up the tooth by the crown, not the root, and make sure it is clean. You can rinse it in water to wash off any debris. Then try to put it back in the socket if you are able. If not, keep it inside your mouth, against the cheek or in a small glass of milk.
Time is of the essence here because cells and the tooth’s roots can reconnect if they don’t dry up and die first. You have less than 60 minutes to make that happen. Head to an emergency dentist or your own if you can get in and they will seat the tooth properly and splint it to the neighbouring teeth until it can reattach.