Tooth Replacement Options
Teeth loss can occur as a result of many different factors. This can distort your smile (depending on the position), lead to serious pain, and result in chewing and digestion issues. Teeth loss is a surprisingly common problem among the adult population, with many adults who are not yet suffering tooth loss likely to be affected in the future. How can you deal with this problem should it arise?
Dental implants are the most solid option for replacing a missing tooth. These artificially created teeth replace the natural tooth root which is inserted into the jawbone to support the replaced crown. Implants are a sturdy option for those who are missing just one tooth or multiple teeth. It is possible even to replace the full arch of the lower denture with only 4 support roots. They are also designed and shaped to look exactly like your natural teeth, so there is no sign of a difference. However, treatment requires a surgical procedure and can be quite expensive.
A dental bridge is a cheaper tooth loss replacement solution to implants. This method is ideal when there are teeth on both sides of the missing tooth. Both teeth on either side of the missing one will be cut down to enable them to connect properly. A bridge could also be used when multiple teeth are missing if there is enough support, or by placing them between implants. They are easy to maintain and they very well function and feel like your natural teeth. Unfortunately, bridges force you to ground down teeth that might be in perfect health, thus raising the risk of future decay or infection. Bridges might also become food traps if extreme care is not taken.
A removable partial denture is used to replace one or more missing teeth in the same arch, whether they are adjacent to each other or not. This solution uses metal clasps which will fit over your existing teeth to hold them in place – which could be visible when you smile or speak. Although it is also possible to have gum-colored clasps that are less visible. When a complete arch of teeth is faulty or missing, removable complete dentures can be placed over the gum. This option allows you have your teeth present during the day, and remove it at night as you retreat to bed. But it can be quite unstable, fragile, easily lost, and may lead to discomfort. However, removable dentures are a fairly cheap, short-term option.
An even shorter term solution for a missing tooth is a temporary denture, also known as a flipper. This very much inexpensive solution is used to restore missing teeth, helping restore your smile as you await a more permanent solution. It is usually more unstable and fragile than removable dentures, and may feel bulky in the mouth.
Your final choice for your tooth replacement needs will very much depend on your finances and the state of your tooth loss. Acting early helps prevent further tooth decay, bone loss, and tooth realignment. And you could always adopt a temporary solution as you await a more permanent one.