If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be all too aware of how much they impact your life and how important they are to your dental health. Your teeth are designed to work together to help you chew, speak, and smile. When teeth are missing, it affects all of these things and more. Fortunately, missing teeth can be replaced!
The first step in the teeth replacement journey is to come in for a consultation with your dentist for an assessment. Every patient’s dental needs are different and distinguishing which option serves you best leads to the most successful final result! Replacement teeth should last for years at a time, so it is important to choose a treatment that is right for you.
To start, there are two main options one can choose from when exploring teeth replacement: a fixed replacement option and a removable replacement option.
The main advantage of a fixed replacement option is that it is inserted permanently and does not have to be removed daily.
If you are missing one or two teeth, a fixed bridge may be an option discussed. A fixed bridge involves preparing the adjacent teeth to the edentulous space. Therefore, it is best to consider this option if the neighboring teeth may benefit from a crown. Most crowns are made from zirconium metal which is a tooth-colored metal. This material is not only strong but also esthetic. Fixed bridges do not require removal for cleaning, but do require special care in cleaning and flossing the teeth surrounding the replacement.
Today, dental implants are the most common form of fixed replacement due to ease of cleaning and flossing. Implants are posts that are surgically placed in the jaw, where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth. With fixed replacement options connected to an implant, a surgery is required which comes with months of healing. You may be able to wear a temporary appliance during the healing period. Many patients choose implants to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or to support a full set of dentures. Implants are most commonly made of titanium.
Because implants require surgery, patients should be in good health overall. Patients either must have adequate bone to support the implant, or be able to have surgery to build up the area needing the implant. Patients should also be ready to commit to a daily oral care routine and to regular dental visits.
A removable replacement option is one that can be removed from your mouth when needed. It will replace teeth and is intended to come out at night as it is not meant to be slept in. It is important for your gum tissues to rest from having the appliance in place all day.
If the patient has no teeth, a set of full dentures would be the best option. Dentures are made out of acrylic with denture teeth. Dentures can also be converted to a fixed appliance if they are anchored on an implant.
A partial denture is for patients that have some missing teeth and is usually held by clasps on the appliance. There are different materials in which partial dentures are made from such as metal or flexible resin. The material used depends on the patient’s need and also determines the longevity.
Carolina Dentistry is here to help you throughout your journey to a healed smile!
While all of these options can seem overwhelming, they also prove how far teeth replacement options have come. Every patient is different and each option fulfills different purposes. How to best replace missing teeth is an important decision.
Contact us today for more information.
Take a look at the video below for a hands-on demonstration of teeth replacement options from Dr. Antley!
ADA Patient Smart, Patient Education Center, “Teeth Replacement Options”