A missing tooth can be esthetic? You must be thinking, “Did I read that correctly?” Well, what I mean by this is a replacement for a missing tooth, now more than ever, can brighten your beautiful smile immensely. For those who are missing a tooth and want to get it replaced, you can rest assured that your new replacement tooth can look like a natural tooth.
Other than for appearance reasons, why is it important to replace a missing tooth? Because a tooth serves many purposes just by being there. Without a tooth there, the adjacent teeth may tip toward the open space, as there’s nothing to hold the teeth in place. Also, the tooth on the opposite jaw that bites against this missing tooth may appear to grow longer, toward the space. Finally, in replacing a tooth with a bridge or a dental implant, having a tooth replacement stimulates the underlying gums and/or bone to reduce the risk of the gums and bone receding.
Your New Beautiful Smile Will Look Natural
Why does today’s replacement for a missing tooth look more natural? Thanks to advances in cosmetic dental technology, there are many reasons for this. The first reason is the type of materials used for the restoration. Years ago, all crowns and bridges had metal foundations for increased strength. Instead of having to use a metal base under the crown or bridge, dentists today can use non-metallic porcelain as a long-lasting restorative material in most situations. Crowns and bridges with a metal base can appear to have a dark band around the gumline if not fabricated correctly. A non-metallic porcelain crown or bridge will not only allow the restoration to appear esthetic, but it will also continue to look natural even as it ages.
A second factor in a natural-looking replacement for a missing tooth, has to do with periodontal (gum) esthetics. Whether it is with a bridge or dental implant, the gums must be first prepared in achieving an optimal normal appearance. When the gums are not esthetically prepared, it is difficult to have a false tooth appear natural. Gum sculpting is a minor procedure that maximizes the natural appearance of a false tooth.
Your Cosmetic Dentist May Choose a Dental Implant
Other than a bridge, a dental implant can replace missing teeth. What is a dental implant and what role does it play in a missing tooth? A dental implant is a titanium screw that is inserted into the jaw bone and sits below the gumline. A dental restoration, such as a single crown, bridge or denture is later placed on the implant for esthetic and functional purposes. The dental implant stabilizes the teeth, especially in the instance of a denture. If it weren’t for implants, a denture may develop a tendency to “rock” or become ill fitting with time. The implant also stimulates the bone surrounding it, to reduce the risk of bone recession. As for a single esthetic tooth replacement with an implant, a crown is the restoration of choice.
There are stringent guidelines for using an implant as an esthetic option in the anterior (front) region. Because of the irretrievable nature of implants, be sure to see dentists that are experienced in placing implants and restoring dental implants. If placed incorrectly, not only will the result appear very unesthetic, it may be extremely difficult to correct.
So take advantage of modern cosmetic dentistry and implant dental technology and fill that space with a natural looking restoration. Regardless of whether you choose to replace a missing tooth with only a bridge or an implant, the end result is beneficial to your dental health and in making your smile beautiful.
Dr. Wynn Okuda is an award winning international leader in cosmetic dentistry. He is one of only 280 dentists in the world to be accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Dr. Okuda turned the dental profession on its head nearly a decade ago , replacing pain, fear, & discomfort with the Dental Day Spa system. His offices for cosmetic, restorative and implant dentistry are located in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Dr. Okuda has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, American Spa, Shape Magazine, Better Homes & Garden, Health & Fitness Sports Magazine, New Woman, and dozens more!
Dr. Okuda is the founder of “Give Back a Smile,” a charitable foundation of the AACD which helps survivors of domestic violence throughout the nation to restore their smiles and lives. He has assembled nearly 1,000 cosmetic dentists nationwide to help fight against domestic violence.