A missing tooth isn't always due to trauma or decay. Congenitally absent teeth were missing from birth due to an underlying health condition or a simple failure of the tooth to grow. The missing tooth can cause bite problems and cosmetic concerns regardless of its location in the mouth. But a missing incisor, or one of the two teeth in the very front of the mouth, is one of the more obvious missing teeth.
There are different dental replacements used to replace missing teeth but some are better choices for a congenitally absent incisor. What are the best and worst dental replacements for a missing incisor?
Best: Dental Implant
Dental implants are a two-pronged approach to dental replacement. The process starts with a titanium root that is inserted into a drilled canal in your jawbone. The dentist stitches the soft tissue closed over the root and, over a few months of healing, the bone will heal around the root and hold it into place. After the bone has fused, the artificial tooth crown can be secured to the top.
Dental implants look like natural teeth and offer a fairly comfortable chewing experience thanks to the secured root. But you would still want to be careful when biting into hard foods like ice or apples. Implants are made of porcelain, which can chip when put under repeated hard pressure.
Best: Partial Dentures
Dental implants are great choices for the replacement of a single incisor or the incisor and one or two other missing teeth. Multiple missing teeth are less prudent to replace with a series of implants. Partial dentures supported with implant roots can replace the series of missing teeth including the congenitally absent incisor.
Partial dentures are built on a hard plate with holes to accommodate natural teeth. The plate sits on top of the gums but, in overdentures, snap down onto implant roots to hold them in place.
Worst: Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is a type of replacement suitable for a lone missing tooth but might not be the best choice for a missing incisor. A bridge features an artificial tooth suspended between dental crowns that are attached to the existing natural teeth on each side of the absent incisor.
The artificial tooth isn't attached to the bone or gums in any way and is less stable than a dental implant. The type of biting done with the incisor can prove to be too much pressure for the bridge and can loosen or damage the crowns and the natural teeth.
For further assistance, contact a local professional, such as Cosmetic Dentistry by Dr Frank Despond.
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