If you have a missing tooth, you may be wondering what the best option is as far as replacing it. It is important that you choose to replace it instead of leaving it be in order to prevent shifting of the other teeth into the empty space. However, there are many options available. Here are some reasons to consider replacing it with a dental implant.

They are Similar to Natural Teeth

In terms of tooth replacement options, dental implants are the best option when you want them to be similar to a natural tooth. The metal post of the implant replaces the root of the tooth and is considered permanent. While the crown on top of the implant may need to be replaced eventually, that metal post should remain in its position for a very long time, if not forever. This allows the tooth to look and feel just like a natural tooth. You feel more confident eating, talking, and laughing, knowing how similar to a natural tooth it is.

You Can Preserve Your Jawbone

If you choose a different tooth replacement option, such as a bridge with an artificial tooth, it won't help you save your jawbone. With the missing tooth, that bone will eventually deteriorate and it will be gone forever. If you ever decide to get an implant in the future, you need to have a bone graft before getting it done. However, if you choose an implant now, the metal post will be installed inside the jaw bone, which then heals around the post holding it in place. This helps to preserve that bone so you don't lose it.

The Nearby Teeth are Not Disturbed

Also consider that if you get a bridge to replace the tooth, you will need to file down the nearby teeth in order to accommodate the crowns. With a bridge, there is an artificial tooth in the middle, with a crown over the teeth on either side. Those teeth might be perfectly healthy, but will now be filed down so you can fit a crown over them. This is disturbing the healthy teeth with a procedure that can never be reversed. Even if later on you decide you want to remove the bridge and get an implant, those teeth will forever need to be covered with a crown.

Discuss your tooth replacement options with your dentist to find out if getting a dental implant is a good choice. X-rays first need to be performed to be sure you have a sufficient amount of bone to support the metal post.