What To Do When You Lose An Adult Tooth

When you were a kid, you might have looked forward to losing a tooth and getting a visit from the tooth fairy. But as an adult a lost tooth can be a frustrating issue. Unlike childhood, a lost tooth is not going to be replaced naturally. But it can be replaced. The two most common solutions for a lost tooth due to decay or injury are dental bridges and dental implants. In this article we will cover the pros, cons, and what to choose. For patients in the Lewiston Maine area, contact us for more information on dental procedures.

Dental instruments next to a patient

What Is A Dental Bridge & What Types Are There?

A dental bridge is a pretty straightforward solution to a lost tooth. A false tooth is placed in the gap left behind and held in place by using the surrounding (abutment teeth). There are various types of bridges depending on what tooth or teeth are missing. The most standard type of bridge uses the tooth on either side of the gap as anchors. Both of these teeth will receive a dental crown that connects to the false tooth that will be held in place. 

Pros Of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are often more likely to be covered (either partially or fully) by your dental insurance. Many insurance plans focus on covering preventative procedures fully and then restorative procedures either partially or fully. But not all restorative procedures are covered. In fact, many dental insurance policies do not provide coverage for dental implants. This is because of the two procedures, dental bridges are more cost effective than dental implants. 

Another benefit of a dental bridge is that it is a non-surgical procedure. When you visit a dentist for a dental implant the post is surgically inserted underneath the gum and is attached to the jaw bone. This mimics the way our teeth naturally exist in our mouths with roots. But with a dental bridge the false tooth is fully above the gum lime and attached to the other teeth crowns that surround it. 

Generally speaking the cost of installing a dental bridge is lower than a dental implant. So it may be a better choice for a patient that is paying out of pocket or having their dental procedure financed by a company like CareCredit.

What is A Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a different solution to a lost adult tooth. It is designed to mimic the way our teeth naturally sit in our mouths. A post is attached to the jaw bone underneath our gums. This post then connects to the false tooth. Compared to a dental bridge, this solution is much longer lasting. In fact, some patients get All-On-Four dental implants where all of the top or bottom teeth are replaced with four implants. This is an alternative to dentures. 

Pros Of Dental Implants

A dental implant can last longer than a dental implant without needing any maintenance. Dental implants are the longest lasting solution on the market. 

Dental implants look more natural long-term. A dental implant mimics the look and feel of a real tooth quite effectively and it is hard to tell that a person even has an implant compared to a natural tooth. 

Dental bridges can put the abutment (surrounding) teeth at risk of decay. Because the nearby teeth need to have dental crowns installed, they can be at a higher risk for decay or other issues in the future. 

Preventative Dentist in Lewiston Maine

Our dentists provide family dental services for Southern Maine. If you have questions about any of the above information or would like to schedule a dental appointment for your child, please give us a call or use the button below to get in contact with our team