• Options for Missing Teeth: Which Fix is Best for You?

    A missing tooth can really have an effect on your self confidence but did you know that it can also be detrimental to your oral health? Your teeth work together to help you chew and speak so when a tooth is missing it can put unnecessary stress on the teeth surrounding it. Whether you lost teeth due to decay or an accident, it will be best for your oral health to get a replacement as soon as possible.

    Options for Missing Teeth BrokenFortunately, there are several options for missing teeth available to you. The best choice for fixing missing teeth depends on your individual circumstances, but there are pros and cons to each option. This is a decision best made with the guidance of your dentist, but here is our breakdown of your options for how to fix missing teeth

    Dental Implants

    Dental implants are the option that feel and look the most like natural teeth. A titanium post is surgically implanted into the jaw and a crown with the appearance of a natural tooth is cemented on top. Implants can replace a single tooth or several teeth if needed and they are a great option for your long term oral health since they mimic the root of a real tooth and prevent bone loss that may occur with other tooth replacement options.

    However, dental implants may not be right for everyone. Placing dental implants requires surgery so you must be in good overall health and have enough bone to support the implant. Certain chronic illnesses like diabetes or leukemia can slow healing, so recovery from surgery can be more difficult. If you have an illness that affects your body’s recovery ability, you may not be the best candidate for dental implants.

    Dentures

    Dentures are removable replacements for your missing teeth and fit into two major categories: partial and full. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain in the mouth and consist of a plastic base that matches the color of your gums with replacement teeth on top and a metal framework to hold the dentures in place. 

    Full dentures are used when all teeth are missing or have been removed. With all of the teeth gone, full dentures are custom-made to sit atop the gums and, if they fit well, are held in place by a suction seal.

    Dentures are the most economical option for fixing missing teeth, but many people find them uncomfortable since they are not permanently fixed and can move around when talking or eating. They also could require more frequent replacement compared to other options since they can be lost or broken more easily. 

    Fixed Bridges

    A fixed bridge is a permanent solution to a missing tooth or teeth that bridges the gap between existing teeth. The existing teeth on either side of the missing tooth are sanded down and crowns are placed on top with a pontic (replacement for the missing tooth) attached to the crowns in the middle. 

    In order to use a fixed bridge to replace your missing tooth, you must have existing teeth on either side for the bridge to be cemented to. In some cases, implants can be used to create a foundation for a bridge when multiple teeth are missing. 

    Bridges are a more cost-effective solution than implants, but do require more maintenance since the bridge needs to be cleaned under the pontic. They look, feel, and function like normal teeth which make them a great option for many people, but also affect the teeth next to the bridge which, in many cases, are perfectly healthy teeth.   

    Options for Missing Teeth in Gainesville, GA

    How to fix missing teeth is an important decision for you and your dentist to make. At Hawkins Family Dental, we provide thorough restorative dentistry options our patients and can help answer all of your questions about tooth replacement options to guide you to the right choice for you and your oral health. 

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