Restoration Options For a Single Missing Tooth

If you’re one of the 178 million Americans who are missing one or more teeth, Dr. Renato Aves can help you restore the form, function, and appearance of your smile. Even a small gap in your mouth can cause major oral health issues, as your surrounding teeth shift to fill the space, the jawbone tissue beneath your lost tooth deteriorates, and bacteria accumulate in the vulnerable pockets of the gums left behind. Dr. Aves offers multiple treatments to restore a single missing tooth at our Tampa, FL oral surgery practice. He can utilize advanced, effective surgical and dental techniques to help you enjoy a healthy, attractive, complete smile. Contact the Tampa Bay Institute of Oral Surgery and Dental Implants to learn more about single tooth replacement or schedule a consultation with Dr. Aves.

Common Causes of Single Missing Teeth

Unfortunately, there are many reasons you might lose a single tooth or require an extraction. These include:

  • Severe decay. If a cavity has spread such that it impedes the basic function and structure of a tooth, a filling, inlay, onlay, or crown may be insufficient to repair it, so Dr. Aves may need to extract it.
  • Dental trauma. Cracked, chipped, fractured, or broken teeth may not be reparable. In addition, severe dental injuries may lead a single tooth to be knocked out by the impact.
  • Gum disease. In the more advanced stage of infection, called periodontitis, the gums can begin to pull away from the tooth and toxins may destroy its root.

Removable Partial Dentures

One of the most basic solutions for replacing a single missing tooth is a removable partial denture. This prosthesis consists of a gum-colored base and prosthetic tooth, affixed to the gums by suction and metal clasps. While a removable partial denture provides a minimally invasive, efficient, and affordable tooth replacement treatment, these types of prostheses are often bulky and uncomfortable. The metal clasps create a gray, unnatural hue at the gum line, and the artificial tooth can shift in place relatively easily. Removable partial dentures may also require replacement every few years and can lead to bone deterioration beneath the missing tooth. Many patients aren’t satisfied with the function or appearance of these restorations.

Three-Unit Bridges

A three-unit dental bridge consists of two crowns, which attached to healthy teeth on either side of the gap, and a prosthetic tooth, which is suspended between them. Dental bridges are typically more stable, durable, and cosmetic than removable partial dentures. However, since they do not exercise the jawbone tissue under the missing tooth, three-unit bridges can lead to bone loss. In addition, many patients do not appreciate the fact that they must shave down and wear crowns over surrounding healthy teeth to hold the bridge in place.

Implant-Supported Crowns for A Single Missing Tooth

Given the disadvantages of both removable partial dentures and three-unit bridges, Dr. Aves often recommends implant-supported crowns for patients who have a single missing tooth. If you opt for this treatment, he will make a small incision into the gum tissue at the gap and insert a thin titanium post into the jawbone. Over several months, this biocompatible post will integrate with your natural tissue, taking the place of your missing tooth’s root. Once you have healed properly, Dr. Aves will attach a custom-made dental crown to your implant using an abutment. Implant-supported crowns require no modification of surrounding teeth, last for many years, are very stable, and create a natural, attractive appearance. You can care for an implant-supported crown just as you would a natural tooth, and Dr. Aves will match this restoration to your surrounding teeth for a realistic look.

Complete Your Smile with Single Missing Tooth Replacement

Dr. Aves offers a complimentary (no fee) initial dental implant consultation. If you have lost a single tooth, it is very important to restore it. To learn more about our treatment options or find out which Dr. Aves would recommend for you, contact our Tampa, FL oral surgery practice today to schedule a consultation.