Typically, tooth decay happens from poor oral care. But even if you brush twice daily and floss just as regularly, sometimes you just get a bum tooth. Whether it's bad genes or just bad luck, what do you do if a decaying tooth finally comes out?
Of course, you can leave a gaping hole, but beyond being aesthetically not so pleasing, this leaves room for your teeth to shift, which can cause a host of other problems. Most of us are going to want a new tooth, and there are three ways to make this happen. Dental implants are the most expensive option, but you'll get a permanent tooth replacement that won't be noticeably different than the rest of your teeth. The price can run into several thousand dollars and the procedure is the most invasive and time consuming of the three. You'll get a titanium rod screwed into your jawbone, and eventually, a crown on top of that.
The second option is to get a bridge. It costs a bit less than an implant and doesn't take as much time to complete the procedures. A bridge is made from porcelain and is essentially two hollow tooth caps with a false tooth between them.
The least expensive option and the one that takes the least amount of time to complete is a partial denture. This is a removable fake tooth (or teeth) that attaches to the surrounding teeth with a metal clasp. The disadvantages of dentures are that the metal can be visible, they aren't known for their comfort and it can sometimes affect your chewing. But look on the bright side -- you'll always have the best party trick.
- "Bad Teeth A Genetic Flaw?" Cbsnews.com, February 11, 2009. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1999/11/30/health/main72408.shtml
- "Dental Disease." lbah.com. September 21, 2011. http://www.lbah.com/dent.htm
- "Dental Implants: Replacement Teeth That Look and Feel Like Your Own." Perio.org, September 21, 2011. http://www.perio.org/consumer/2m.htm
- Gordon, Jerry. D.D.S. "Missing teeth? Weigh your options." Dentalcomfortzone.com. September 21, 2011. http://www.dentalcomfortzone.com/template.php?aid=51