Dental Implants for the Front Teeth
Anytime a tooth is missing, it has a significant impact on oral health and function. But if you are missing a front tooth, it can be a source of embarrassment as well. You may cover your mouth when you smile or laugh or avoid social situations altogether. Dental implants are the most common treatment option for replacing front teeth. Durable and long-lasting, they can last a lifetime with proper care.
In this blog post, Dr. Thomas G. Zarger, serving patients from Knoxville, TN, Maryville, TN, and Oak Ridge, TN, discusses dental implants for the front teeth and how they can improve your overall quality of life.
Front Teeth and Dental Damage
The front teeth are more susceptible to trauma, simply because of their location. As a result, they are more likely to be lost during car accidents, sporting accidents, and other accidents.
The teeth in the front of the mouth may also require extraction due to decay and gum disease. In some cases, front teeth are congenitally missing, which means they never developed in the first place.
Why Replace a Missing Front Tooth with a Dental Implant?
Before we explore dental implants, we will briefly discuss the alternative options for a missing front tooth. A one-tooth removable partial, also called a flipper, can fill in the gap temporarily but is not intended for long-term use. It is also for aesthetics only. It is very difficult to eat with a flipper in place. In fact, our dentist recommends taking it out during meals.
The second alternative option is a dental bridge. This type of restoration requires some enamel removal on the adjacent teeth. A bridge consists of two crowns that fit over the teeth on either side, and an artificial tooth that fills in the space. Floss threaders, interproximal brushes, or other dental tools are necessary to properly clean underneath the restoration. Bridges can last about ten to 15 years on average.
A dental implant is a one-tooth solution for a one-tooth problem. In other words, the adjacent teeth do not need to be reduced, as is the case for a dental bridge. An implant consists of a titanium post, which is placed into the jawbone. It is attached to a small connector post and a dental crown. Once in place, a dental implant looks and feels just like a natural tooth. It can also be cleaned just like your other teeth.
In addition, a dental implant replaces the actual tooth root, and it stimulates the jaw in the same fashion. As a result, the implant preserves existing bone and prevents future bone loss from occurring.
To qualify for dental implants, patients should be in good oral and overall health. Any existing decay or gum disease should be addressed first, as these conditions can compromise the long-term success of the implant. In addition, implants should only be placed in patients whose jaws are fully developed. For this reason, we do not place implants in children.
Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation Today
If you are missing a front tooth and are exploring treatment options, consider what a dental implant can do for your health and appearance. To schedule a consultation at our practice, call (865) 693-7631 or contact us online anytime.