What Are Your Options for the Treatment of Missing Teeth?
This can be a huge inconvenience and problem when dealing with missing teeth, but fortunately you have several options. The worst thing you can do is sit and do nothing! A missing tooth is more than an issue with aesthetics and how your smile looks. Replacing a lost tooth helps ensure the stability and health of your remaining teeth and protects your gums and jawbone from infection and future deterioration. Teeth are for more than just looking nice or giving you something to chew on.
It’s important to take the correction of missing teeth seriously because a seemingly insignificant problem can quickly become a major hassle and a problem that needs fixing. Untreated problems with missing teeth open the door to major problems in the future, as other teeth slip out of place, become infected and begin to rot. You will also begin to experience significant problems such as multiple tooth loss or periodontal disease.
The most common way to fix missing teeth is to use dental implants. In most cases they can be used to replace a single tooth, but several implants can be used to replace more than one missing tooth if necessary. These implants are actually a tooth root replacement using a metal screw, and then a realistic looking cap that looks like a natural tooth is placed on it. The biggest factors that determine whether implants will be a good option are the health of the jawbone and gums. The bone must be strong enough to support the metal screw and the gums must be healthy for the cap to stay in place. Certain systemic health conditions, such as cancer treatments, diabetes and gum disease, can make implants impossible.
Aesthetic, functional, realistic, reliable, long-lasting
Stimulates jawbone growth and increases bone density over time
Does not impair the strength or integrity of other teeth
Lower risk of developing periodontal disease than other methods
It may be more expensive in the short run but a better option in the long run
It is minor surgery and needs time and multiple steps to complete
Fixed Partial Prosthesis
Before dental implants became the modern option for dental prosthesis and something that was accessible to everyone, a fixed partial denture, or commonly called a bridge, was the standard choice for dental prosthesis. When using this replacement option, the teeth on either side of the missing tooth, the “abutment” teeth, will be covered with a realistic looking crown. These crowns will then be used to support the replacement crown placed on the valve. It is designed like a picket fence with two side posts fixing the space between them. The result is no gaps and a realistic looking filling tooth in place. When correcting missing teeth, it’s important to remember that there are many dental implant options and it’s important to find the one that fits your needs.
It allows for normal function such as chewing and some find this more aesthetic.
They usually have less waiting time than dental implants as they can be done in one day.
Cheaper than most of the modern types of implants used
Adjacent teeth should be shaped and sanded to fit the crowns.
It is prone to tooth decay as it lacks a support post.
The jawbone under the bridge may deteriorate due to lack of root stimulation
Removable Partial Denture (RPD)
An RPD has been one of the tried-and-true options for replacing a set of missing teeth and is very similar to a regular set of dentures except that it is only for a portion of the teeth rather than the entire upper or lower set. These RPD sets are made of an artificial tooth that is then bonded to material that looks like normal gum tissue. It is attached to the anchors attached to adjacent natural teeth with special clips. It can be removed for cleaning.
Easier than pulling teeth for an aesthetic, functional, complete set of dentures
Cheapest option as setup and hardware are minimal
Greater risk for gum disease and tooth decay
Anchor teeth can eventually become damaged or loose
Can be uncomfortable and cumbersome at times
May not fit well over time
Bone density loss occurs over time
If you are researching or answering how to deal with your dental problems or need help fixing missing tooth issues, you can contact us. They can review all dental implant options with you and help you find the best solution for your unique situation and needs. So call and schedule your appointment today and enjoy a healthy smile once again!