Replacing a Missing Tooth

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Need help with a Missing Tooth?

Missing teeth can hurt your confidence and affect your health. If you’re chewing only on one side, you’re overcompensating for the missing tooth and putting a lot of pressure on your healthy teeth. A missing tooth can cause other teeth to shift, further damaging your smile and compromising your bite. Fortunately, we offer several solutions and can help you choose which replacement option is right for you.  

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Tooth Implants

A dental implant is one of the top options when you are missing a tooth. An oral surgeon places a titanium post in the bone, acting as a new root for your implant. Once the implant has had time to heal, a crown is placed on top of the dental implant to look, feel and act just like your original tooth, allowing you to chew and smile with confidence that will last a lifetime.

Implants are a long-term solution for missing tooth replacement. Dental implants have very high success rates, and most patients are good candidates. Each person’s case can have a slightly different cost due to the available bone levels, any infection, and other functional considerations your surgeon may have. If you are missing a teeth or multiple teeth and would like to learn more, we are happy to schedule an appointment and help you learn more about available options.

Tooth Bridges: Fixed Bridge or Implant-Supported Bridge

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Fixed Tooth Bridge

If you have one or more missing teeth, a fixed bridge may be a good option for you to regain a healthy, functional smile. A fixed bridge is created by reducing the teeth on either side of the missing space and cementing a three-unit crown into place to bridge the gap between these teeth. We match the shape and color of your surrounding teeth to provide a bridge that looks and functions like your original teeth.

The cost of a dental bridge is less than that of a dental implant, which is why some people choose the more affordable dental bridge option. Bridges don’t preserve the bone structure of your jaw like a natural tooth or implant does, so you may experience bone loss at the site of your missing tooth, but regular checkups and monitoring can prolong the lifespan of your new bridge.

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Implant-Supported Bridges

Implant-supported or implant-retained dental bridges are a hybrid of implants and dental bridges and are optimal for people missing several teeth or need multiple teeth extracted. The cost of several dental implants may not be feasible, but two implants combined with a bridge may be more manageable.

We’re fortunate to have dental implant dentist, Dr. Brad Alderman, as part of our team to help you choose an excellent option. While choosing your option, we always keep your health, your smile, and your budget in mind.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Missing Teeth

Why should I replace my missing tooth? Your Lincoln, NE dentist answers…

Any time a tooth is removed, the adjacent teeth start shifting into the space left by the missing tooth.  This can create problems with the bite, as well as making patients more susceptible to decay and periodontal disease on the surrounding teeth which can lead to more tooth loss. A dental implant is the an excellent option for replacing a missing tooth due to high success rates over many years. A dental bridge is also an option, but requires the supporting teeth to be reduced for crowns.

Is it important to replace molars? Your Lincoln, NE dentist answers…

Molars due to majority of grinding up food during chewing and take a lot of forces on a daily basis. If we lose our molars, we depend on smaller teeth that are not well-designed for this workload. This can cause us to lose more teeth over time. Our first molars erupt at age 6, and most adults have some dental work on their first molars at some point during their lifetime. First molars do 80% of the work while chewing food. If we lose a first molar, it is a good idea to replace it for optimal chewing function and to maintain a healthy relationship between our upper and lower jaws (occlusion).

Why are dental implants the top option for replacing missing teeth? Your Lincoln, NE dentist answers…

For the majority of patients, a dental implant is an excellent option for tooth replacement due to it’s longevity. Successful dental implants that are maintained properly can last a person’s lifetime. Another reason why dental implants are preferable to dental bridgework is that the adjacent teeth are not affected by placing a dental implant. Significant tooth structure must be removed to place a bridge. For patients who may already require crowns on adjacent teeth, sometimes a bridge is a more cost-effective way to restore their mouth. For those who do not, a dental implant is ideal.

What are the pros and cons of replacing a tooth with a bridge? Your Lincoln, NE dentist answers…

For patients who may already require crowns on adjacent teeth, sometimes a bridge is a more cost-effective way to restore their mouth. For those who do not, a dental implant is ideal. Occasionally, a traditional dental bridge is the only option if a person is not a candidate for an implant. In such cases, dental bridges are extremely valuable. The downside of a dental bridge is that the adjacent teeth must be reduced for crowns. If a patient does not need crowns on these teeth, this treatment creates the need to remove a significant amount of tooth structure. Dental bridges can be difficult for patients to clean, making them more prone to decay.

Are dental implants safe? Your Lincoln, NE dentist answers…

Modern dental implants are made of bio-compatible titanium. Through extensive study over several decades, they have been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for tooth replacement. As with any dental or medical treatment, certain risks and complications could effect the success of an individual dental implant. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we proudly partner with the excellent surgical team at Nebraska Oral and Facial Surgery to deliver the highest standards of care possible.

How long to dental implants last? Your Lincoln, NE dentist answers…

Over several decades, implant success rates have been studied showing that successful dental implants that are well-maintained can last upwards of 25 years. Most alternative options for tooth replacement will last 8-10 years before replacement becomes necessary.  

What is the failure rate of dental implants? Your Lincoln, NE dentist answers…

Dental implant success rates can vary depending on which tooth was replaced in the jaw. Typically, dental implants have a 98% success rate.

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