There are a variety of common reasons people are missing teeth. Missing teeth can cause many oral health problems, including difficulty chewing food and the gradual movement and misalignment of your teeth over time. However, there are solutions to dealing with missing teeth, including dental implants, implant-supported bridges, and removable partial dentures. Read on to…
Speak to Your Dentist About Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
Options for replacing missing teeth are not just about aesthetics - they can restore your ability to chew effectively and avoid bone loss after teeth are gone. Toothless gaps can be filled by dental implants, bridges, or dentures, but if you're looking for more immediate results, there are other options for replacing missing teeth available as well, such as dental veneers or partial dentures (dentists refer to these two options respectively as "cosmetic" and "functional"). It's essential to speak with your dentist about what option might work best for you before moving forward with any treatment plans.
A denture is the most common way of filling a gap left by missing teeth, but they can be uncomfortable and give you an unnatural appearance. Dentures do not restore function either, meaning that you will likely experience difficulty chewing your usual foods after getting them. Dentures can be an excellent option for replacing missing teeth because:
- They are a cost-effective solution.
- Dentures can be made to look and feel like natural teeth.
Dentures are typically made from acrylic or plastic and fit over existing teeth to fill the gap left by missing teeth. The process to create dentures can be somewhat invasive, requiring the removal of healthy teeth to support their design before they are then placed in your mouth. Ultimately, though, you should find that your new "teeth" feel comfortable and look natural.
Dental implants may be a better solution for you if you are looking for something more permanent. Like dentures, dental implants require the removal of healthy teeth to support an implant that will interface with your jawbone and provide strong anchoring in place of missing teeth. Dental implants can be a great option for replacing missing teeth because:
- They are a long-lasting solution for tooth replacement.
- The procedure is done in two to three visits, unlike dentures that need replacements every five years.
Dental implants consist of two parts: the implant itself and a crown or bridge placed over the implant. The amount of time required for implants to integrate with your jawbone before you can get a tooth replacement depends on a number of factors, such as your overall oral health, what options you ultimately choose, and how much bone loss you have experienced. In total, though, you should find that implants look and feel natural, providing a sturdy and functional alternative to missing teeth.
A dental bridge is another option for replacing missing teeth. The procedure can take anywhere from six months to a year or more, depending on the options you choose, but in general consists of using two crowns to anchor artificial teeth that are attached via metal posts and connect them. Dental Bridges can be an excellent option for replacing missing teeth because:
- They adhere to your existing teeth with dental implants or metal posts on either side of the space.
- The best way to avoid wearing out adjacent teeth is by using a bridge.
Bridges give you the ability to chew your usual foods and look and feel natural but come at a higher upfront cost than bridges or options that include dental implants. Dentists have options other than artificial teeth to fill the space left by missing teeth. Talk to your dentist about options available for replacing your lost teeth, and discuss what options may be best for you before moving forward with any treatment options for replacing missing teeth.
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It is amazing the amount of confidence that comes from the options for replacing missing teeth. The absence of a tooth or even multiple teeth can make daily tasks like eating and speaking more difficult than they must be. For those who suffer from this, just having the ability to learn more about options can…
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