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Current statistics show that at least 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and these numbers are expected to rise in the coming years. Missing teeth can result from a number of mishaps, most notably poor dental hygiene, a lack of proper dental care, and a disregard for proper dental health. If you are suffering from a missing tooth, it’s best to replace it at soon as possible. There are five common and popular options that your dentist may recommend to you when discussing replacement.

1. Dental Implants

By far, the most common procedure is to get a dental implant. A normal tooth is composed of the root and the natural tooth. However, when the original tooth breaks or falls away, there is nothing attached to the gums and jawbone any longer. To remedy this problem, dentist often recommend attaching a dental implant, which is a screw that is fused to the jawbone with a protruding top.

The top portion of the screw that appears above the gum line is then covered with an implant crown. An implant crown is meant to mimic the appearance and function of a natural tooth. As a result, you can treat the dental implant as another tooth, for all intents and purposes.

2. Removable Partial Denture

If you are missing part of your tooth and if the root of the tooth is still intact, then you may want to consider what is known as a removable partial denture. This is essentially a denture that clasps to whatever is left of the partial tooth. The clasp allows you to wear the removable denture throughout the day. Keep in mind that the trouble with this option is that the clasp is often visible, so if you are self-conscious, then you may want to choose a different option.

3. A Bridge

Another option is to get a bridge put in place. Bridges are most often used when the missing tooth leaves a gap between two teeth. The benefit of using a bridge is that it is a permanent option that is cemented in place. If you do choose a bridge, then you need to make sure to keep the area clean by flossing and brushing on a regular basis, otherwise bacteria and plaque can build up and cavities can develop.

4. A Temporary Denture

If you are looking for a temporary option and your entire tooth is missing, then a temporary denture may be a good fit. Temporary dentures are most often used when you plan on putting in a replacement tooth at some point in the future. This option is also ideal if the place where the tooth fell from has not properly healed.

5. No Action

The final option is to do nothing. However, doing nothing is never the recommended solution. Eventually, the gap will close because the surrounding teeth will fill the space. Another issue with doing nothing is that the bone can become infected and bacteria can build up, leading to additional dental problems.

If you have a  missing tooth, call Dr. O’Donnell. As a dentist in Centreville VA, he provides several services to help replace missing teeth.

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