Having missing teeth can make normal tasks such as eating or speaking difficult, but there are several tooth replacement options available to allow you to restore function and improve the appearance of the mouth. Learn more about what alternatives are available to patients and the potential benefits of each method.Depending on the situation and how…
Your Tooth Replacement Options
If you are looking to replace one or more missing teeth, there are several tooth replacement options available. It is always recommended to replace missing teeth for the sake of your dental health and looks. Your teeth are designed to work together to help you speak and chew. When teeth are missing, it is hard to do these things. Fortunately, lost teeth can be replaced by your dentist with effective tooth replacement techniques.
Missing tooth replacement options
A very small number of people make it through life with a full set of 32 teeth. Many people lose permanent teeth due to a variety of factors. These include injury, gum disease, or decay. Failure to replace missing teeth can lead to many negative consequences. But there are different treatments available that can replace lost teeth or make adjustments to the overall appearance of the mouth. Here are some popular tooth replacement options.
Dental implants are a great option for replacing a single tooth or several missing teeth in different areas of a patient’s mouth. The treatment involves surgically inserting a titanium metal post or frame into the lower or upper jaw. Then an artificial replacement tooth is mounted to the implant. This helps the tooth remain securely in place. A dental implant basically provides a firm, permanent base for a replacement tooth.
Many people opt for this tooth replacement option because it resembles a natural tooth. They are also known to last for decades. Another advantage of a dental implant is that the adjacent teeth are not involved, like in the case of a bridge. This means that the rest of the teeth remain intact.
A fixed dental bridge is a good choice for people missing one or more teeth in the same area. It basically bridges a gap caused by a lost tooth using an artificial tooth or dental prosthetic. The dentist attaches this to the neighboring teeth and then bonds it in place using dental cement. Dental bridges are common because they feel and look like natural teeth. Bridges also improve the appearance of the patient’s natural teeth on either side of the space.
Removable partial dentures
A removable partial denture is ideal for a person who wants to replace some missing teeth. Partial dentures often have replacement teeth that are fixed to a plastic base, which matches the color of the gums. The natural teeth stabilize and hold the removable base in place. Some dentures, however, have a clasp that adjoins to natural teeth. Removable partial dentures are popular partly because these appliances are affordable. Removable partial dentures also look and feel natural in the patient’s mouth.
Benefits of replacing missing teeth
Having a missing tooth can affect a person emotionally, mentally, and physically. Talking to the dentist about the most suitable option can make the patient understand what each one offers. There are many benefits of replacing missing teeth. Here are some of them:
- It improves one’s nutrition. Tooth loss prevents a person from eating the right way. Biting, chewing, and tearing food can be almost impossible, especially if there are many teeth missing. Pain often accompanies tooth loss because the neighboring teeth lose stability. Improper nutrition is a consequence of tooth loss. The patient may exhibit deficiency symptoms, such as dry skin, delayed wound healing, or hair loss. There could also be fatigue, mouth sores, and irritability. Tooth replacement can bring back a person’s dental and general health. This can give the patient more energy, more disease resistance, and less stress.
- It reduces anxiety. People with missing teeth often worry and feel awkward. Low self-esteem and isolation are the usual solutions to worry and embarrassment. Tooth replacement can reduce anxiety and bring back a person’s self-esteem. Socializing and accepting career advancement become easier.
- It protects the adjacent teeth. Losing teeth leaves vacant dental spaces in the mouth. This triggers the shifting of the neighboring teeth. This movement causes the loosening of teeth, which may lead to more tooth loss. The neighboring teeth can also suffer from more decay, which could also result in more tooth loss. Tooth replacement can keep the neighboring teeth healthy and stable.
Visit your dentist
If you are missing teeth, you should talk to your dentist about tooth replacement options. Your dentist might suggest implants, a fixed bridge, or a removable partial denture. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages. But generally, they are all effective and can last for many years or even decades as long as you take good care of them. Your dentist can determine the right treatment depending on your needs.
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