You may be missing a tooth and wondering what your restorative options are. In order to replace it, patients have a few routes they can go that are dependent on factors such as their overall oral health and the state of their remaining teeth.One option that is often recommended is called a bridge. This involves removing healthy enamel from the teeth on either side and cementing the new bridge (which includes an artificial replacement tooth, called a pontic) in place. A bridge is one long unit of attached crowns that look natural but cannot be flossed. If the integrity of either of the adjacent teeth supporting the bridge is lost, the entire bridge will be lost.
Dental implants are another popular option to replace a missing tooth because they are free standing restorations that function and appear just like natural teeth. They do not involve the teeth on either side, and instead are integrated into the jaw bone itself just like a natural tooth root. It is important to understand that not everyone is a candidate for dental implants, especially if there is already significant bone loss present. Fortunately, Dr. Amalfitano can make the assessment with some diagnostic work here in the office and determine what the best route is for our patients.In some cases, even patients with bone loss can opt to get a bone grafting procedure done first to increase the possibility of future implant placement. Each case is unique and the best option for you will depend on your own situation, along with Dr. Amalfitano’s recommendation once he has made his assessment. We encourage our patients to ask questions and make sure they have all of the information necessary to make an educated decision.