model of mouth with teeth and implant posts

Solutions for Missing Teeth – Solution for a More Beautiful Smile

Individuals missing one or more teeth often hide their smiles. They do so regardless of why the tooth is no longer present in their mouth. Common causes of tooth loss include genetic conditions, extreme tooth decay, periodontal disease, or trauma. In addition to detracting from a person's smile, a missing tooth could alter the alignment of the teeth and lead to many oral health issues. Fortunately, there are dental options for missing teeth.

model of mouth with teeth and implant posts

Dental Implants

Many dentists recommend dental implants to replace missing teeth. Essentially, dentists insert a metal, screw-like post into the jawbone. The inserted post integrates with the natural bone and prevents bone loss in the jaw. They then top this post with a crown that looks and functions like a natural tooth.

Men and women love this option, as the dentist creates the crown to blend naturally with the other teeth. It fits perfectly and benefits men and women who can't have a bridge or dentures for any reason.

Dental implants are an effective way to replace a missing tooth. Other people cannot tell it is an implant rather than a natural tooth. The implant surgery does not affect adjacent teeth, and implants last a lifetime if the owner properly cares for them. Nevertheless, dental implants come at a higher cost. Furthermore, they do require invasive surgery. Men and women need to consider the risk of infection and other possible complications.

An Implant-Supported Bridge

The dentist might recommend an implant-supported bridge when someone lacks certain adjacent teeth. Dentists put implants into the end spaces of this gap in the teeth, and the dentist installs a bridge supported by these implants to replace the missing teeth. Men and women find this affordable when they need multiple adjacent teeth replaced. Bridges serve as an adequate replacement for these teeth, and the bridge looks natural in the mouth.

However, an implant-supported bridge only benefits individuals missing multiple adjacent teeth. Furthermore, the dentist must replace the bridge periodically, and the placement of the implants and bridge requires multiple visits.

Tooth-Supported Bridges

Men and women who wish to have their missing teeth replaced quickly often refuse dental implants. Instead, the dentist might recommend a bridge supported by healthy teeth in the mouth in this situation. First, the dentist modifies the teeth to hold the bridge and install crowns. Then, a dental lab creates a bridge with crowns on each end for the healthy teeth and false teeth to replace the missing teeth.

As with implant-supported bridges, a tooth-supported bridge provides a natural look and feel. However, this type of bridge placement requires no invasive procedures. The cost comes in less than seen with implant-supported bridges.

Some people don't feel comfortable with this option because it does call for the modification of healthy teeth in the mouth. In addition, the modified teeth become more at risk of infection, and a poorly fitted bridge could damage the adjoining teeth. Finally, food particles often make their way under the bridge and must be removed.

Removable Partial Dentures
modle jaw with dental implant

Patients may find removable partial dentures meet their short-term or permanent needs. They fill any gaps in the mouth, much as full dentures do, but the dentist must adequately fit them to avoid issues. Poorly fitted partial dentures lead to problems with a person's bite. These problems could result in trauma to the natural teeth and gums.

Removable partial dentures come at a lower cost than other treatment options for men and women with missing teeth. In addition, a dental lab can repair the dentures if they sustain damage, and the lab may add additional teeth later if needed. Patients on a limited budget often choose this option thanks to the low cost of partial removable dentures.

Nevertheless, some people find they never adjust to the feel of a partial denture, and other people can see they aren't natural teeth. People see this because the partial denture comes with clasps to hold the denture in place, and these clasps remain visible in the mouth. Furthermore, patients must adequately care for the denture to prevent damage to adjacent teeth.

Flipper Teeth

Anyone missing one tooth might find a flipper best meets their needs. Dentists refer to this replacement tooth as a flipper because the person can easily alter its position by flipping it. In addition, placement of a flipper does not require any work to adjacent teeth, and the flipper lacks the metal clasps seen with partial dentures.

The flipper cost pleases many, as it is affordable, and the placement is painless. As a result, many people opt for a flipper until they pursue a permanent tooth replacement option. Additionally, flippers weigh significantly less than partial dentures, so they are more comfortable in the mouth.

However, some people find they never adjust to the flipper. Therefore, breakage remains a concern with this tooth-replacement option. Patients need to consider this when comparing the different options to replace missing teeth.

Speak with your dentist about the different tooth replacement options. The dentist considers your oral health and medical history when making recommendations on the best treatment plan. However, one alternative should restore your smile and improve your health, so make an appointment to learn more about the choices today.

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