Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
Your teeth are important! Your pearly whites are critical for biting, chewing, and speaking clearly – they are also essential for a dazzling smile. Despite the importance of healthy teeth, 92% of adults ages 20 to 64 have had progressive destruction of a tooth or bone in their permanent teeth and 5% of adults 20-64 have no teeth.
Lost teeth ruin the cosmetic appeal of your smile, and missing one or more teeth makes it more difficult to chew, speak, and take care of your remaining teeth. Missing one or more teeth can also create more potential issues such as increasing bite forces on remaining teeth that can lead to cracks and breaks. Additionally, missing teeth allow neighboring teeth to drift into the gap left behind by the missing tooth causing misalignment, which can lead to increased stress on gums and bone, as well as more difficulty to keep teeth clean.
Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
Fortunately, Solis Dental provides a number of options for replacing missing teeth. Depending on your individual needs, your dentist may recommend one or more of these options.
Because of the way it looks, feels, and functions, a dental implant is as close to a natural tooth as you can get. A dental implant is a replacement tooth root that holds a dental crown. To create a dental implant, your dentist embeds a root-like rod/fixture into your jaw; over time, your jawbone fuses with the replacement tooth root to create a sturdy anchor for a crown. The procedure requires several trips to the dentist.
A dental implant is easy to care for and can last for many years. Dental implants are also very realistic looking, so it is unlikely that people will even know that it is not an original tooth.
Bridges, as their name suggests, bridge the gap between one or more missing teeth. Teeth next to a gap serve as anchors to hold an elongated dental crown.
Creating a bridge requires special preparation of the neighboring teeth that will serve as the anchors. To prepare these teeth, your dentist shaves off enough tooth structure to accommodate the material thickness of the crown that will hold the bridge in place. The process of creating a fixed bridge usually requires multiple trips to your dentist.
Resin Retained Bridge
Resin retained bridges consist of a metal or ceramic framework, which your dentist retains with a resin composite bond to the neighboring teeth on each side. Resin retained bridges use metal or ceramic bands/wings, held in place with resin bonding to the surrounding teeth, to hold a suspended replacement tooth in place. This approach usually means preparation of anchor teeth is minimal and conservative, but can have its drawbacks. Depending on circumstances, your dentist may recommend a resin retained bridge to replace front teeth or other teeth that do not undergo the stresses of chewing.
Removable Partial Denture
A removable partial denture usually consists of a metal framework and clasps that hug your teeth. This option is adequate for chewing and ok for aesthetic appeal, but is typically less durable and aesthetic than a dental implant; many patients have stated that they find their removable partial denture uncomfortable when worn for a length of time.
Removable Complete Denture
A complete removable denture is a full set of replacement teeth mounted in a pink, gum-colored resin. These dentures typically replace an entire arch of teeth, either all your teeth on top, bottom, or both. The process is somewhat involved and requires several trips to the dentist for impressions of your teeth to make molds, measurements, refinement, removal of any remaining unhealthy teeth, initial placement of the denture, and follow ups for adjustments.
Removable complete dentures are often less stable than other options and can slip when talking, laughing, or eating. Many patients find removable complete dentures cause discomfort when worn for long periods of time. Food particles can get under the denture and also cause discomfort. Many of these complaints can be overcome by attaching the complete denture to a set of implants for more stability and retention.
If you are missing one or more teeth and wonder what options might be right for you, Solis Dental can help. Our dentists can recommend a tooth replacement option, depending on your individual needs and expectations.
At Solis Dental, we strive for excellence through quality care, sustainable practices and performance-driven results. We delightfully seek to improve your oral health
to help you achieve your ideal self, so that you feel empowered to engage the world with a smile and inspire a perpetuating cycle of goodwill. We endeavor
to create a welcoming and modern environment of solace and trust, where we can deliver a memorable experience, quality results, and comprehensive oral health
to you, your loved ones, and our community.
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