What Are The Best Dental Replacement Options For A Congenitally Absent Premolar?

Premolars are multitasking teeth located between the rearmost molars and the canines. The premolars chew food and start the grinding up process that is finished by the molars. A congenitally missing premolar makes chewing difficult, causes bite issues, and poses a cosmetic concern.

There are a few different types of dental replacements for a congenitally absent premolar. Here are some of the best choices to discuss during your next appointment with your general or cosmetic dentistry specialist.

Dental Bridge

A dental bridge features a porcelain artificial tooth that is held up by two dental crowns that go on the teeth on either side of the gap. Bridges aren't always the best choice when used on teeth that take on a lot of bite force or grinding. But there are two premolars in each quadrant of the mouth. So your existing premolars can help share the duties of the artificial premolar.

There are a few potential downsides to a bridge. The bridge sits abive the gums, which means there's a potential for oral bacteria to get stuck under the bridge unless you are very diligent with oral care. And any damage to the teeth of the dental crowns can compromise the entire bridge.

Dental Implant

Dental implants are one of the most stable and healthy dental replacements available. The implant's titanium root is implanted into the jawbone, which fuses around the root to hold it steady. The presence of the root in the jawbone also continues to promote the health of the bone and soft tissue in the area under the artificial tooth crown that is snapped onto the root.

The stability of a dental implant is often a great fit for a missing premolar due to the tooth's function during chewing. The implant is strong and steady enough to both grab and start to grind the food without risk to the implant.

Partial Overdentures

Dental bridges and implants are good choices for replacing only the congenitally absent premolar. But if you're missing other teeth in that side of your mouth, you might want to ask for partial overdentures. The partial plate of the dentures fits over and around your existing natural teeth, then snaps into place on the same type of root device used for dental implants.

Partial overdentures don't slide around the way that traditional dentures can move, which can cause difficulty chewing and cause painful abrasions on the gums. The overdentures are also typically more affordable than installing several dental implants in the same locations. To find out more, speak with someone like Scott W. Murphy, D.M.D., P.A.