Life happens, and it’s possible that at some point you may have to deal with missing teeth as a result of disease, tooth decay, or trauma. You can choose to not replace the teeth, but if you don’t, you face chewing difficulties and may eventually have trouble speaking properly.
You could also become at risk for gum deterioration and unevenness in your remaining teeth. So replacing your teeth offers more than a cosmetic advantage. However, if you choose to replace them, you should fully consider your options.
Full or Partial Dentures
Dentures are basically custom-made, removable frames that hold one more teeth. They fit over your gums or attach to your other teeth, and can look quite natural. Dentures must be brushed daily and kept clean and moist when not inside your mouth; otherwise, they can lose their shape.
Because they are removable and not completely stable, you may experience some issues. Their placement causes the jawbone to shift and change, and this will eventually irritate the surrounding gums. They can also dislodge at inconvenient times, causing possible embarrassment.
Fixed Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are prosthetics – artificial teeth called pontics, made from porcelain or noble metals such as gold or platinum – bonded to the natural teeth on either side of your tooth gap. Unlike dentures, these are not removable. Dental bridges can be more successful and stable than dentures because they can prevent your regular teeth from getting out of position, and they can keep the force of your bite evenly distributed.
However, a disadvantage is that because the neighboring teeth must be filed down to accept the apparatus, those teeth become more vulnerable to plaque, tooth decay, periodontal disease and the potential need for a future root canal.
Dental implants are the most involved form of treatment, but they are durable and permanent. Dental Implants are also considered to be more effective in terms of maintaining overall dental health. They basically replace your tooth roots with a titanium substitute to provide a foundation for a fixed or removable crown that matches your natural teeth.
In contrast with the other options, these crowns may look and function more like regular teeth. Implants won’t cause bone loss or additional vulnerability to bacteria because the titanium bonds to the bone over time, like the tooth root originally did. However, this option is more expensive than the others, even though it may be more financially efficient over the long term. It also requires oral surgery, and the other treatments do not.
If you find yourself in a situation in which you need to replace missing teeth, you should consider one of these treatments so that your oral health – and your beautiful smile – aren’t compromised. Your dentist here at Hawkins Family Dental is a great resource, and can help you figure out which treatment is right for you.Leave a reply →