How should I replace my missing tooth?

How should I replace my missing tooth?
Dr. Elizabeth Jean Herko Dentist New Providence, NJ

Dr. Elizabeth Jean Herko M.P.H., D.D.S. is a top Dentist in New Providence, NJ. With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to their specialty, Dr. Elizabeth Jean Herko M.P.H., D.D.S. is an expert in changing the lives of their patients for the better. Through their designated cause and expertise in the... more

If you have a missing tooth, you may be presented with a number of options to replace it.  You could get an implant, a fixed bridge, or something removable.  It's important to realize that these options are not equal to each other.  Although every circumstance is different, the best solution is usually an implant. Here are a few of the reasons why.

  1. When you choose an implant, one tooth problem remains a one tooth problem. If you are only missing one tooth, picking a solution other than an implant, it will impact some of your other teeth in a negative way. Bridges alter the teeth adjacent to the space by removing a significant amount of enamel. Partials place extra force on the remaining teeth. Choosing an implant will benefit your other teeth by providing a more even distribution of forces.
  2. Implants cannot get cavities. Other solutions, such as bridges and partials, make an individual prone to cavities because they make it harder to keep your teeth clean. Be extra cautious choosing a bridge or partial if a cavity was the reason you lost the tooth. An implant can never decay, so it's a great perk for someone prone to cavities.
  3. At first glance it would seem that implants are the most expensive, but when you take a closer look you may find that that's not the case. The long term costs associated with choosing a bridge or partial may end up being a more expensive investment than the implant. According to the American Dental Association, the average bridge only lasts 11 years, so there is a good chance you will pay for that bridge again. Partials put pressure on other teeth and move differently when functioning.  Many people cannot tolerate a partial in their mouth and end up leaving it in a drawer. Talk about a waste of money!

If I was missing a single tooth, I would do my best to replace it with an implant. It's the overall best option.