When a person is missing a tooth and wants to replace the tooth, a dentist may suggest a dental bridge. A dental bridge is an option for replacing missing teeth; however, bridges affect other teeth. If you want a tooth-replacement option that will protect your healthy teeth, instead of affecting them, you will want to choose a dental implant.
What is a dental implant?
To understand how implants protect healthy teeth, you will need to understand what they are. A dental implant is a tooth that is fully supported by itself. It contains three parts and is inserted into your jawbone to hold it in place. The anchor that holds it in place is made of titanium, and it acts like the roots of a tooth. This means that your artificial tooth is strongly held in place and will allow you to use the tooth as if it was a normal, natural tooth. Dental implants do not rely on support from other teeth or other parts of your mouth.
How do implants protect healthy teeth?
Because of the way implants stand alone and do not require the use of other teeth, getting a dental implant will help you protect the other teeth you have in your mouth. The best way to understand this is to understand how other forms of tooth-replacement options work.
A dental bridge, for example, is an artificial tooth used to replace a missing tooth, but a bridge does not stand alone. A bridge requires the use of at least one other tooth in your mouth, and many bridges require the use of two other teeth. When the other teeth are used to support a bridge, a dentist must remove a portion of the structure of the teeth and will then make dental crowns to place over the teeth. In other words, one of two of your teeth will be damaged simply so that you can have a bridge put in your mouth.
The other option is a removable partial denture, and this option involves placing the artificial tooth on a plate that is held in place with teeth and parts of your mouth. It can rub against your teeth and gums and cause damage, and it can easily fall out at times when it should not. As you can see, a dental implant is the best option if you want to protect your other teeth.
If you have a gap in your mouth and are tired of living with it, you should visit a dental clinic. A dentist can help you determine whether you should get a dental bridge or an implant as a means of replacing the tooth you are missing. To learn more, schedule an appointment with an implant dentistry office today.