As stated by the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP), 178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. Tooth loss can be caused by decay, injury, gum disease, cancer, or wear of the tooth. When a tooth is missing, not only does it affect your appearance, but you also lose chewing ability and your remaining teeth may start to drift. The bone that supported the missing tooth may begin to shrink, which can change the shape of your facial structure.
Niloufar Molayem, D.D.S. and Dr. Eric Cho serve the Pasadena area in a holistic practice, providing high quality general and cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry, and periodontics services. If you are missing a single tooth, we can replace it with an implant-supported crown to restore your smile.
Single Tooth Replacement Options
When a single tooth is lost, there are two common treatment options for replacing it:
- Traditional tooth-supported bridge
- Implant-supported crown
While a tooth-supported bridge may be functional and aesthetic, it sacrifices the health of the adjacent teeth, which must be ground down to support the cemented bridge. As there is no longer a tooth root to hold the bone it place, the jawbone in the area of the missing tooth begins to deteriorate, causing loss of support for the facial structure.
Additionally, the gums may recede around a bridge, causing a visible defect when the metal collar of the bridge becomes exposed. If the cement holding the bridge in place washes out, it may allow bacteria to decay the adjacent teeth anchoring the bridge. Resorbed bone beneath the bridge can also affect the appearance of your smile.
With an implant-supported crown, on the other hand, the tooth root is replaced with a titanium post that integrates with the jawbone, preventing deterioration and preserving the bone. The implant holds the replacement tooth (crown) in place and does not require support from or cause damage to the adjacent teeth. It does not decay and is easier to clean than a tooth-supported bridge. Better still, an implant-supported crown provides a stable, long-term solution that fits, feels, functions, and looks like a natural tooth.
ACP: Facts & Figures