Fix Missing Teeth
It is incredibly unfortunate to lose a tooth. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers numerous solutions for replacing a missing tooth. The article below provides a summary of the most popular methods used to replace missing teeth.
A bridge can be used when the patient’s teeth adjacent on either side of the tooth which is missing. A bridge is classified as a fixed solution, it is cemented inside the mouth and cannot be removed after it is placed. The procedure for a bridge includes cutting down the teeth next to the missing tooth to properly connect them. For some, the cutting down of the healthy teeth is a disadvantage and unnecessary. Bridges which are placed in the lower jaw, may not last as long from the jaw flexing and springing a leak in the unbendable bridge. This leak can allow decay and bacteria to seep into the tooth and cause issues. The teeth next to the missing tooth may require a crown or filling. A bridge is a relatively easy solution which can be used when just one or two teeth are missing. When sufficient support is available, additional teeth can be replaced with this method.
Just as the name implies, a temporary denture is a short-term solution which can be used to replace a missing tooth. It is also called a flipper, because it quickly “flips” in and out. This solution is often used when the tooth is being restored with an implant or bridge. Both solutions typically require time for the treatment area to heal. A temporary denture is quite similar to a removable partial denture. However, it is less sturdy, less bulky, and less expensive. The use of a temporary denture does not require any modifications of the surrounding teeth.
Removable Partial Denture
When patients are missing one or more teeth, it can be embarrassing and unattractive. This is particularly obvious when the missing teeth are in the front of the mouth. A removable partial denture, which is worn during the day, is a solution which can be used when one or more teeth are missing. Some partial dentures require a metal clasp which is used as the anchor inside the mouth. Depending on the placement, the metal clasps are sometimes visible. The removable partial dentures can also move when speaking or eating, which can be uncomfortable. Patients should remove these dentures at night for cleaning. With partial dentures, the natural teeth are not modified. This solution is also very inexpensive. Dentures can be used to replace teeth which are missing from the top or bottom jaw.
Implants are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth. They are the closest option to having a natural tooth, in both function and appearance. The implant device replaces the tooth’s root and actually fuses to the jaw bone. An abutment is then placed, which connects the crown to the implant. One major benefit of an implant is that the adjacent teeth are not impacted in any way. Implants are a great solution for patients who are missing a single tooth. It is nearly impossible to differentiate between an implant and a natural tooth.
Another option is to do nothing. When teeth are removed or fall out, the bone will resorb and there can be movement of the adjacent teeth. This can cause challenges and lead to other issues such as bone loss and decay. Missing teeth can also be unattractive and cause other limitations.