Options for Missing Teeth
Whatever the reason for missing teeth, the fact is it can present a variety of challenges. Of course, it may cause you to avoid smiling and lower self-esteem, but it can also limit or prevent you from eating some of the foods you love. Not to mention language formation… a gap between teeth can leave you with an odd way of forming words.
Why every tooth matters
Besides helping you to chew and speak clearly, teeth serve as placeholders. When one or more of those placeholders are missing, the surrounding teeth may begin to move. This could lead to bite problems if eventually your teeth no longer line up correctly. Not to mention that the gum tissue and bone beneath the gaps left by missing teeth could deteriorate, making the surrounding teeth weaker, which could lead to more tooth loss.
Options for single or multiple missing teeth
A denture is an entire row or arch of upper or lower teeth that are replaced with a prosthetic embedded with replacement teeth. Dentures made with modern materials look very natural and function just like your own teeth. They are removable for brushing and cleaning, and for repairs, which can make dentures a less expensive option. Of course, another option that is available are implant-retained dentures or overdentures that are fixed permanently in place.
With implants, an artificial replacement root is placed in the jaw bone and capped with a porcelain crown. Surrounding teeth are not altered during implant placement, so there is no need to damage any healthy teeth. Also, implants are known for outstanding durability, even lasting decades. One critical advantage is that they help to prevent bone loss because they use a root replacement.
A fixed bridge is a row of artificial teeth that are held in place by bonding or cementing them to surrounding teeth. If your dentist determines that you may not have enough healthy and adequate bone tissue to support implants, a fixed bridge may be a great solution. They look and function just like natural teeth and since the bridge is set permanently in place, it doesn’t need removing for cleaning, and of course, you don’t need to worry about “slippage.”
The best option for replacing missing teeth depends on your budget, oral health, and personal choice. Always begin with a consultation with your dental professional. And don’t let missing teeth keep you from living the life you deserve. Make an appointment today with your friends at Longmeadow Family Dental Care.