What are the ways to replace missing teeth?
- Dental bridge
- Dental implant
- Partial or complete denture
If you don’t practice good oral hygiene, plaque and tartar can build on your teeth and under your gums, causing tooth decay and gum disease. If left untreated, this lowers the level of the bone holding your teeth and you might lose one or more teeth. Other than that, sports-related injuries or trauma to the mouth area can also cause this problem. If you’re worried about your smile, rest assured because there are multiple ways to replace missing teeth.
But first, why do you need to replace missing teeth? Without enough teeth, your jaw function could be compromised. You might have trouble chewing or speaking. Gaps in your teeth can also cause the surrounding teeth to move, resulting in a misaligned smile. If you don’t replace them, your facial structure might change over time. That’s why if you’re interested in fixing this problem, keep on reading!
If you only lost a single tooth, one of the best solutions is to have a dental bridge installed. This involves a replacement tooth that is held by crowns at each side. The crowns are caps cemented on the neighboring teeth to prevent the shifting of the bridge. The replacement teeth can be made of porcelain, metal, or zirconia.
Installation of a dental bridge will usually take two to three visits. On the first day, your dentist will examine your teeth, take diagnostics like xrays, pictures and cast. If everything is ready, your doctor will then do tooth reduction on the abutment teeth that will hold the bridge in place. A local anesthetic will be used to make you feel comfortable throughout the process.
After that, your dentist will take an impression of your mouth and send it to the laboratory. The doctor will also place temporary crowns on the reduced teeth to protect the teeth from getting sensitive and from getting cracked. On your next visit, the permanent bridge will be installed and you will be sent home.
If you’re looking for a real tooth feel, Dental implant is the best replacement for misisng teeth. It is an artificial tooth root made of titanium screw that is surgically placed on your jaw and your bone will eventually integrate with the screw. This will make you feel like you have a newly erupted tooth.
A dental implant can support a crown, a bridge, or denture. Because the implant is made of titanium alloy, it will last for a lifetime as long as it is well-taken care of.
The procedure for a dental implant usually takes between three to four visits over a six to twelve-month period. On your first visit, your dentist will assess your oral health. If everything is healthy, they will require you to take a CT scan, radiograph, and cast.
During the surgery, your dentist will make a cut on the gums where the implant will be placed. Once it’s fixed, you need to let it heal between six weeks to six months. During this period, the bone tissue will attach to the implant. You will be wearing temporary replacement teeth while waiting. Once the permanent one is fitted, you can enjoy your new smile. Remember to return to your dentist for periodic check-ups and cleanings.
Partial or Complete Denture
A denture can replace a single tooth, a few teeth, or a complete arch of missing teeth. Compared to a dental bridge or implant, this prosthesis is removable. The denture is made of artificial teeth that are attached to a pink acrylic base which mimics the natural color of your gums.
The procedure for both a partial or complete denture will usually take four to five dental visits. On your first consultation, your dentist will check your oral health. They will also recommend the best denture material for your needs and goals. Impressions of your mouth will be taken and will be sent to a laboratory who will fabricate the denture.
On one of your visits, your dentist will let you put on a wax trial denture. It will be checked for the right fit, bite, and color. All of your comments will be taken into consideration while the final denture is being made. On your next appointment, the final denture will be installed. You will be given a week to wear it before you return for a check-up so your dentist can evaluate the results.
From difficulty chewing and speaking to developing misaligned teeth — having missing teeth can affect your quality of life. It can also change your facial structure and make it more difficult for you to show your smile to others.
Here at Elevate Dental, we can offer you different ways to replace missing teeth. Whether it’s a dental bridge, dental implant, or denture — our specialists can help you determine which is the best option for your situation.