Options For Missing Tooth Replacement
Many people live day in and out with spaces and missing teeth without thinking twice about how this affects their dentition and health. Some live with just a single tooth missing without noticing it too much, while others have multiple teeth missing.
The impact of living with missing teeth
Whether you have one or more teeth that are missing you can be sure that even with one gone, the other teeth are enduring much more pressure and wear. While at first this may not seem to effect function too much as the years progress the other teeth are enduring the load that the missing one was supposed to be taking and they breakdown quicker due to that fact. Nutrition can adversely be impacted as well when a patient is unable to chew and eat nutritious, healthy foods.
The good news is, there are many options for tooth replacement, either single or multiple and all options help to keep your dentition healthy and spread the load over all the teeth to ensure minimal breakdown and wear of the remaining teeth. This article reviews both single replacement with procedures like a bridge or implant and also multiple tooth replacement with partials and dentures.
Single tooth replacement
Single tooth replacement options that benefit the patient the most are something called an implant. An implant is a titanium replacement of the natural root of the tooth. After some healing and integration of bone structure around the root replacement a tooth like crown is fitted on the top of the replacement root. This option is great for patients who are looking to replace a single or multiple teeth in one area of the mouth. It serves well for both function and aesthetics. The whole process generally takes 8-12 weeks in order to ensure that the root has a healthy and strong base for the tooth replacement to go on. In cases where a tooth needs to be replaced in the front of the mouth a same day implant may be used, where the entire process is completed in one day.
Another option for when a tooth needs to replace a single or multiple missing tooth or teeth in one area is called a bridge. A bridge is a great option when the surrounding teeth beside the space also need some work due to breakdown or decay. As the name implies a bridge will anchor to one tooth, provide a tooth in the missing space and anchor to another tooth on the other side, just like a bridge. If the anchor teeth have fillings or maybe decay, this is a great option because the bridge will restore those teeth; as well as providing the space with a tooth to use for chewing.
Replacing multiple teeth
If someone is needing multiple teeth replaced in different areas of the mouth, an appliance called a partial may be just what is needed. A partial is made of resin which mimics gum tissue and tooth structure. The partial will hook onto the surrounding teeth with a clasp to ensure a great fit with minimal movement during daily chewing and speaking activities. Some partials have metal clasps while others are resin based and the best part is it is totally customisable. The patient can pick the proper shades of tissue colour, tooth colour and fit. The appliance is made over a few appointments to ensure the result is just what the patient desires. This is an optimal option for those needing multiple teeth replaced in a single arch.
Lastly, a denture is a removable appliance that can replace all teeth on an arch. It can be made for the upper or lower arch and mimics natural teeth. Just like the partial, it is fully customisable and the patient works with the dentist to create the best appliance for them. Dentures can be placed the same day as extractions of the teeth or can be made after the teeth have been missing for a while.
We can help
Whatever is chosen it is important to make sure you work with your dentist in choosing the best option for you. Each situation is unique and many people feel that theirs is too dire to do anything about it. This couldn’t be further from the truth, the dentition is an important part of having a healthy body and lifestyle and being able to enjoy eating, speaking and socialising! Dental professionals are excited and understanding of their patients’ fears surrounding these treatments and really want what is best for each patient!
Make sure to contact the surgery to see what the best options are for you!
June 18, 2021