Tooth pain due to sensitivity, decay, or infection can make daily activities such as talking and eating extremely difficult and unenjoyable. Once a tooth reaches a certain level of decay, it may become irreparable and extraction may be necessary. Missing teeth affect overall dental health of the mouth due to the teeth shifting, and tooth loss makes many feel self-conscious about how their smile looks. You do not need to tolerate that painful tooth any longer. There are several viable replacement options available.
Removable Partial Denture
A removable partial denture involves replacement teeth being fixed to a plastic base matching your gum color. Often some sort of clamp will attach the denture to your existing teeth. A replacement denture is typically less expensive than other options and usually easier to repair if necessary. Since they cannot be worn full time, they usually have to be removed at bedtime for cleaning and storage. Though the removal makes cleaning easier, it is a source of embarrassment for some.
Having a dental implant put in place is a surgical procedure that involves implanting posts into the jawbone. Once that has healed, the prosthetic tooth cap is placed onto it. The overall process requires several dental visits, but the end result is the most natural feeling option for tooth replacement. Implants are relatively long lasting, with most lasting years or even decades. Since implants are rather invasive and require surgery, this is not an option for everyone. Patients should be in overall good health before considering the implant option.
A resin-bonded bridge is sometimes used to replace front teeth that do not have to hold up to the pressures of back molars. Many feel they are more aesthetic than a partial denture. Typically resin-bonded bridges are attached to the healthy teeth with little tabs. While cheaper and less invasive than fixed bridges or implants, they are not as strong and usually will not last as long.
A fixed bridge involves filling in a space left by missing teeth with a replacement that is cemented onto the surrounding teeth and can only be removed by a dentist. Like implants, it takes more than one visit to a dentist like Dr. Bruce Hartley to have a fixed bridge placed. The teeth on either side of the replacement are also affected, as crowns will have to be placed on the attachment teeth to protect them. A pro of the fixed bridge is that it also feels quite similar to natural teeth without as great an expense as an implant. Since it is not removable, cleaning may require a bit of extra effort.
If you have a painful tooth, do not ignore it and suffer unnecessarily. The first thing to do is make an appointment with your dentist. If you do not have a dentist you trust, now is a good time to do some research and find one. With an evaluation by an expert to determine the root cause of the pain and open communication of the pros and cons of various options, together you can come up with a treatment plan you feel confident about.