It is unfortunate when someone loses a tooth; however we now have several options to replace it. When a tooth is removed, the bone melts away and the other teeth in the area will shift to fill the gap. There are many ways of replacing teeth which can either be removable or fixed. The removable option is a partial denture whereas the fixed option includes bridges and implants.
1. Removable Partial Denture
It is worn during the day, can replace one or many missing teeth. A disadvantage of a removable partial denture is that they can move a little when speaking or eating, which can be uncomfortable. With a partial denture there is no need to file down any teeth, and this option is the most economical.
A bridge is an option when there are teeth on either side of the missing tooth. A bridge is a fixed solution that stays cemented in the mouth and does not come out. This method involves cutting down the teeth on either side of the missing tooth to be able to connect them together.
Sometimes the teeth next to the gap need a filling or a crown and this method can kill two birds with one stone; filling the gap and fixing the adjacent tooth at the same time. A bridge can replace one or two missing teeth easily, and sometimes more if there is enough support.
3. Dental Implant
An implant is a great way to replace a missing tooth. This solution feels and acts the most like a natural tooth when chewing, brushing or smiling.
A dental implant is a biocompatible titanium screw surgically placed at the site of the missing tooth root. The gum is then sewn closed while your jawbone fuses around the implant. This process can take up to three months—factors such as your body’s natural ability to heal, your oral health and whether the implant was placed in your upper or lower jaw can affect the duration of the process.
Of all the options dental implants are generally the more preferred choice, for a number of reasons:
• Dental implants support the bone and prevent bone resorption
• Dental implants also do not impact the adjacent teeth, which means you retain more of your healthy dentition
• Implants can last many years and so can often be the most cost effective option over a period of time.