The main drawback of this approach is time. It can take six months, a year, or even more to move your teeth and create the space. Then we have to go through the implant process, which itself can take several months (although many people can have an attractive restoration placed on the implant the day of surgery). But the benefit is that you have a dental implant at the end, which, as we said is the best tooth replacement option available.
Another option is to create a dental bridge for the gap. A dental bridge is made up of three units: a replacement tooth attached to dental crowns that fit over adjacent teeth. These are good, durable restorations, but they can be vulnerable to bite forces. Because the gap in this case is narrow, that might not be as big an issue.
Another issue is that the bridge doesn’t stimulate the jawbone under it, so the body might remove bone, causing the gums to recede and creating an unattractive space under the bridge.
However, that might take years–if it even happens–and in the meantime the bridge can be an attractive and fully functional restoration. Plus, this restoration can be placed quickly–often in under a month.
Finally, you might decide to do nothing about the gap in your smile. This is an option, but it can lead to other complications. You might have difficulty cleaning and maintaining the teeth next to the gap. You might also notice that your other teeth are drifting, which can lead to additional gaps in your smile that can make it look unhealthy overall. In some cases, a gap like this can speed the loss of nearby teeth.
Not Sure What to Do about Your Lost Tooth?
If you have lost a tooth and you’re not sure what to do, let us help. At élan, the Tulsa implant dentist Dr. Meghan Hodges and her skilled team can design several treatment plans for you, and then you can decide which one best fits your immediate and long-term goals.
To talk to us about your missing tooth, please call (918) 528-3330 today for an appointment.