If you need to have a tooth extracted, you're going to be left with a space between your existing teeth. You may be tempted to fill in the space with a removable bridge. While bridges do work to fill in the gap, they're not necessarily the best option. In fact, there's a much better option for tooth replacement—a dental implant. If you haven't considered a dental implant to replace the natural tooth you're about to lose, you need to talk to your dentist as soon as possible. Here are just four of the reasons why a dental implant is preferable to a removable bridge.
Preserve the Bone You Still Have
If you have all your teeth right now and you're not suffering from advanced stages of periodontitis, your jaw bone is probably intact and healthy. However, once the tooth is extracted, the bone in that area can begin to disappear. Unfortunately, the loss of even a small amount of bone can affect your entire jaw. The loss of bone mass can even lead to the loss of more teeth. Dental implants help preserve the bone you still have, which reduces your risk of future tooth loss.
Maintain the Space Between Teeth
When you have all your natural teeth, they work together to hold each other in place. Unfortunately, once one tooth is missing, the rest try to move around to compensate for the loss. That means that your teeth will start shifting from side to side. As your teeth shift, the appearance of your smile will change, and so will your bite. One of the benefits of a dental implant is that it helps maintain the space between your teeth. Because the implant is permanent, the surrounding teeth should stay in their natural position.
Avoid Uncomfortable Bridgework
If you're going to have a tooth extracted and you choose a bridge to fill in the gap, you may not like the feel of the dental appliance in your mouth. Bridges and partial dentures can be uncomfortable to wear. However, with a dental implant, you won't need to worry about the bridgework or the partial denture. Your implant will look and feel completely natural.
Ensure a Natural Facial Appearance
If you have a missing tooth, you may become self-conscious about your appearance. Not only that, but bone loss and tooth shifting can alter the appearance of your face. If you want to avoid the changes and maintain a natural facial appearance, you need to have your missing tooth replaced with a dental implant.
For more information, ask a dentist about dental implants.