Most people will need to deal with a missing tooth at some point in their lifetime. Teeth can go missing due to accidents, disease, lack of dental care, or old age. Taking good care of your teeth through regular dental hygiene can help avoid the problems that lead to missing teeth, but losing a tooth (or several teeth) is not always preventable. If you do find that you are short a few teeth, there are several different options available to solve the problem through dental work.
Dental implants are the best solution for a single missing tooth, and they can be used to support structures that replace multiple missing teeth. Dental implants work by surgically inserting an implant post into the jawbone. This post supports an abutment, which then connects to an artificial tooth crown. These tooth crowns are made of zirconium or porcelain, and simulate the look and feel of a real tooth.
The advantage of dental implants is that they are a permanent solution. The secure dental implant anchor ensures that the artificial tooth won’t move or fall out with regular jaw movements. The crowns can be removed for regular cleaning or replacement by your dentist.
Dentures are what most people normally think of when they consider tooth replacement. Removable dentures have been a dental innovation for decades. While they are an adequate solution for many people who are missing multiple teeth, dental technology has advanced beyond the need to have removable dentures that require regular cleanings and replacement of the adhesive that holds them in place.
Implant-supported dentures are a much more convenient solution. This type of denture mimics the structure of your former teeth, while relying on secure implant posts to hold them in place. This allows you to replace many teeth at once with a secure, semi-permanent solution that doesn’t require as much upkeep as traditional dentures.
Dental bridges are a great solution for patients that are missing multiple teeth in a row, but still have most of their mouth full of healthy teeth. Dental bridges can be removable, or they can be supported by dental implants. Removable dentures generally cost less, but they have the same upkeep disadvantages as removable dentures. They need to be removed and cleaned on a regular basis. Implant-supported bridges cost more in the short term, but they are a solution to missing teeth that requires far less maintenance. Plus, they sit more securely in the mouth than a regular bridge so you don’t have to worry about your bridgework falling out.
Missing teeth can have a major impact on your self esteem and your ability to chew. Fortunately, dentists have developed several methods to deal with missing teeth that are affordable, effective, and relatively painless. Each patient has unique needs, and require a specialized plan on how best to deal with their missing teeth. To get started on a solution for your missing teeth, contact Dr. Bowyer today to get a free consultation.