Current statistics show that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Missing a tooth not only makes it uncomfortable and unpleasant to chew, but it can also cause bacteria and infection to develop in the area where the tooth is missing.

If you have a missing tooth, then you have a number of options available you to. It is always best to take action, as oppose to leaving the tooth as is. Here are a few of the main options that your dentist may recommend:

  1. Get a Dental Implant

One of the best measures is to get a dental implant. A dental implant is one of the most common procedures for those with missing teeth. Dental implants are as close as you can get to a real tooth and are often made out of materials like proclaim because of the durability. After creating a dental implant that mimics your real tooth, the dentist will use a screw to attach the dental implant to your jaw bone. After screwing the implant to the jaw bone, the dentist covers the screw with the crown, giving the appearance of a real tooth.

  1. A Bridge

If your missing tooth left a space between two teeth, your dentist may recommend a dental bridge. A bridge is a permanent option that essentially places a stand-in tooth in the space between your teeth. If you do get a bridge, it is imperative that you keep the area clean to ensure that no plaque and bacteria build up. Build up can lead to a root canal or cavities, both of which are unpleasant.

  1. Partial Denture

The third option is to get a partial denture set in. A partial denture is removable, which means that if you do decide to get a more permanent option in the future, then it is completely possible. Drawback with a partial denture is that they can move when you eat and they sometimes are visible when you smile, depending upon the placement of the denture. For most people, partial dentures are uncomfortable and there are cleaning procedures involved.

  1. Temporary Denture

The fourth option is a temporary denture, which another removable denture that can be put in place. Unlike the removable partial denture, this version is one what is placed in the gap area as you wait for your dentist to develop your bridge or dental implant. The positive feature about temporary dentures is that they enable you to eat and chew comfortably as you wait for more permanent options.

  1. Do Nothing

The fifth option, which is wholly not recommended, is to do nothing. Doing nothing should only be a temporary course of action, as it can lead to the development of infection in the gap area. Also, teeth will start to move into the gap space, causing you discomfort and even pain. By visiting your dentist and discussing your options, you can make the right decision for you and your needs.