The Quickest Way to Replace Missing Teeth
Unlike other dental problems, having a tooth knocked out is the type of issue that most people want to have fixed right away. From composite bonding to partial flippers to dental implants, patients in Washington, DC have a number of options when it comes to replacing their missing teeth.
Among the quickest ways to replace a missing tooth is a process known as composite bonding, according to Dr. Rex Hoang of DC Dental Spa. Composite bonding can be done in a period of one to two hours, and in that short amount of time, a patient can go from missing a front tooth to walking out the door with a natural-looking replacement.
Dentists can shape this composite bonding to make a tooth that will bond directly in the area of the missing tooth. This option only works for people who have strong teeth on either side of the area where the tooth is missing, and it may not be for everyone.
Unfortunately, Hoang says that the replacement teeth made during the composite bonding process are “just for show.” Although composite bonding is a quick fix for a missing tooth, it is not a permanent fix. “If a patient has a broken front tooth, then composite bonding is going to be the fastest way to get it fixed right away during the office visit without any lag time or wait time,” he says. “But you can’t really use any tooth made from composite bonding over a long period of time, so these teeth are mainly just to give the patient a better look temporarily.”
Implants & Bridges
Hoang’s patients in Washington, DC often see dental implants and bridges as another option to replace a tooth that has already been extracted, though this option does take a bit longer than composite bonding. In most offices, getting a dental implant put in generally takes a period of one to two days, as opposed to one to two hours for the bonding.
Implants can be placed in one of two ways, the first of which is called immediate placement. “Immediate placement is when you take the tooth out and put the new implant in the area on the same day,” Hoang says. “The problem with immediate placement, however, is that the success rate is not as high as some of the other options.”
For a higher chance of success with a dental implant, Hoang recommends extracting the tooth and then taking the time to do a bone graft—which is when a dentist replaces the missing bone with tissue from the patient’s body—before placing the implant. “The success rate when we use a bone graft is much higher, but the drawback of that is the time requirement,” Hoang explains. Patients who opt to have a bone graft done before placing the implant may have to wait up to four months before their implants can be placed. In the meantime, a temporary tooth is used to create a look that is as natural as possible during that four-month period.
Placing dental implants using the bone graft technique is a two-part procedure, Hoang explains. The first step in the process is to do the dental surgery to place the implant into the bone. That is left in place for four months while the bone grows around the implant in order to make sure that the bone is strong enough to support the tooth. Then, the patient comes back into the office anywhere from three to six months later to have a tooth placed on top of the implant, which is what creates the finished look.
Partial flippers, also known as removable partial dentures, are typically the least expensive option when it comes to replacing a missing front tooth. Getting a partial flipper takes just one to two days in the lab, as opposed to the months it can take to get a dental implant properly placed. This denture-like piece is removable, so the patient can take it in and out whenever he wants to do so.
All of the above treatment options, unfortunately, are only available for people who do not have an infection in the mouth. Broken teeth oftentimes cause infections, and if someone has an infection that has gotten all the way into the nerve, then there are a number of steps that may need to be taken before tackling the replacement of the tooth. Infections of the mouth have to be taken very seriously, as they can quickly spread to the bone and other areas of the body.
Dr. Hoang handles composite bonding and dental implants for patients in Washington, DC all the time, and recommends that anyone who is suffering with any of the above issues visit a dentist as quickly as possible before a possible infection sets in or begins to spread.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.