When missing teeth are not replaced, the spaces can lead to problems with eating, drinking and speaking. Tooth loss can also cause the surrounding teeth to shift, as well as deterioration and loss of bone in the jaw, changing an individual’s facial features causing the skin to sag and look older. The great news is that with all the technology available there are several options available to replace missing teeth.
The most popular and ideal option is replacing missing teeth with a lightweight sturdy titanium anchor known as an implant. An implant is the most similar to a natural tooth and most comfortable. Implants can also help prevent shrinkage of jawbone from tooth loose. Good oral hygiene is essential for the success of the implant but if cared for properly an implant can last a lifetime! Although implants are a surgical more costly procedure the benefits of a lifetime implant make this a highly successful alternative for replacing missing teeth.
Bridges are another procedure alternative to replace one or more missing teeth. A fixed bridge is made with porcelain designed to fit your natural bite. To affix a bridge to your teeth, the dentist first must shave down the adjacent teeth. The bridge is then bonded to the adjacent teeth, as a permanent replacement. Bridges typically cost less than implants, but do not stimulate the jaw bone where teeth are missing, which means the jaw bone will likely still deteriorate beneath the gap.
A partial denture fills in gaps with replacement teeth fixed to a plastic base, which is designed to match the color of your gums. A denture fixes to adjacent teeth with clasps and should be removed and cleaned at night. Initially, a denture might feel uncomfortable, tight or be difficult to get used to, but most patients become accustomed to a denture after a few weeks of wear. This is typically the least expensive tooth replacement option. Partial dentures, however, usually require more care, maintenance and upkeep than other tooth replacement options.
We welcome you to contact our office to schedule an appointment to discuss your best options for tooth replacement. During your appointment at Schaffer Dental Excellence, Dr. Robert Schaffer, will discuss your mouth’s specific needs, your individual health concerns and your best choice to restore your smile and ease when eating, drinking and speaking.