Healthy teeth make you smile easily and are also crucial for overall health. The natural structure and design of the teeth together help you speak, chew, and smile. Missing teeth make performing these everyday tasks difficult and impair your dental health.
However, people may lose one or more teeth. It could be due to several reasons: dental injury, trauma, decay, gum disease, or genetic condition. Research reflects that over 178 million Americans have at least one missing tooth, whereas over 40 million have no teeth. Replacing missing teeth is imperative to achieve good dental health. Besides lacking an elegant smile, missing teeth may also affect your psychological health. Smiling with a missing tooth can be embarrassing and leads to lower self-esteem.
Similarly, a missing tooth causes adjacent teeth to shift and drift out of place. There is a more chance of infection when single or multiple teeth are missing. So, why not replace your missing tooth and save yourself from TMJ disorders or bone deterioration? Today, there are many options for tooth replacement, and you can choose from them as per your will and dental health. Here we'll discuss the solution for your missing teeth so you can prepare yourself in advance.
"Recent statistics reveal that one out of every six adults over 65 years has no teeth of their own. Whereas 25% of them have only eight or fewer teeth".
Bone loss can change the facial shape and requires bone grafting before your dentist fixes dental implants. If the patient doesn't replace his lost tooth within six months, it results in bone loss.
Replacement of a tooth missing from its original location results in the closure of the space created by the tooth's absence, which assists in the upkeep of an equal bite.
A tooth replacement option helps prevent teeth from moving and the overgrowth of opposing teeth.
Besides retaining function, tooth replacement also enhances the visual aesthetics of the smile.
One or more missing teeth affects the way you eat or chew food. It can lead to TMJ disorders, whereas tooth replacement reduces its prevalence.
Whether you have one or more missing teeth, there are several options for their replacement. However, the right choice depends upon your dental health and willingness. Here we'll discuss different options for teeth replacement for your enlightenment. So, let's get started.
Option 1: Dental Implants
Dental implants are gaining great prominence worldwide. They work just like natural teeth and help restore the tooth's function. Dental implants are a great option if you have one or more missing teeth. They provide a permanent solution to replace your missing teeth.
Dental implants are inserted into the patient's jawbone to aid chewing. It helps restore chewing function and improve the appearance of the smile. Dental implants provide a strong foundation for missing teeth and stabilize adjacent teeth. They help prevent bone loss and keep your mouth free of gum disease.
An ideal patient for dental implants should have the following characteristics:
"The procedure of dental implants is as high as 98%, and they can even last the entire lifetime".
Option 2: Implant-Supported Bridge
Another option for tooth replacement is an implant-supported bridge. It offers a permanent solution for multiple missing teeth and is highly successful. Compared to a traditional bridge, the implant-supported one lasts over two decades.
It is similar to a traditional bridge, except dental implants support it. It is an ideal option for patients who have lost multiple teeth adjacent to each other. However, one can only choose this option if at least two missing teeth are missing.
The qualifying criteria for an implant-supported bridge are as under:
Option 3: Dental Bridge
When one or more teeth are missing, a patient can go for a dental bridge procedure to prevent the teeth on either side from shifting and moving into the gap. Patients, however, need to have two strong teeth on either side of the opening. Usually, a permanent bridge helps in avoiding those kinds of problems.
A dental bridge fills the gap created by one or more missing teeth with false teeth. It is typically made of crowns on either side of the hole with a false tooth in between. A dental bridge is supported by natural teeth, unlike an implant-supported bridge held by dental implants.
A fixed bridge is a perfect alternative to dentures if the patient wants a fixed solution. However, unlike dentures, you cannot remove a fixed bridge, and it distributes the forces in your bite correctly.
A dental bridge is ideal in the following situations:
Option 4: Dentures
Dentures are false teeth that help restore the teeth' function and let you smile confidently. Besides affecting chewing ability, missing teeth also impairs speaking power. Dentures offer a cost-effective way to restore the smile and help replace missing teeth.
Sometimes, multiple tooth loss can occur for various reasons, including advanced age, oral trauma, accident, and other health problems. At the same time, the patient's jawbone density isn't enough to hold the implants. Moreover, the patient can be hesitant towards procedures such as bone grafting, sinus augmentation, or possibly due to any other reason. In such circumstances, professionals recommend that patients should get dentures.
Dentures are very affordable and help restore teeth function. Nowadays, many types of dentures are available such as conventional dentures, partial dentures, custom dentures, complete dentures, etc. The right choice depends upon the dentist's recommendation and the patient's dental health.
Option 5: Dental Crowns
Another reliable option for teeth replacement is dental crowns. Dental crowns, also known as dental caps, serve several purposes today. From improving visual aesthetics, crowns can even replace a missing tooth. Dentists usually combine dental crowns with a dental bridge or implants for missing teeth to serve such a situation. Every crown is custom-made and matches the color of other teeth. They can even last for more than a decade with the proper care.
Dental implants require a crown on the top to protect the replacement tooth. Without crowns, a dental bridge can't work. Crowns in a dental bridge are essential to hold the replacement teeth. When replacing multiple teeth, the implants also rely on dental crowns to complete the replacement.
Dentures are the right choice if you are considering an affordable alternative to replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are no doubt the best tooth replacement option. However, it requires good dental health with adequate bone density. Dental implants are an expensive tooth replacement option but an excellent investment in the long run. Rather than dentures, dental bridges are better for patients who have enough healthy teeth left.
Replacing missing teeth is essential to regain your dental health. An implant-supported bridge is also a good choice if you have lost more than one tooth. It helps secure your smile without compromising the health of neighboring teeth. Dental crowns are ideal for patients who fail one or more missing teeth. They are combined with dental implants to give added protection and support. For one or more missing teeth, you can return them by considering the following options. Also, talk to your dentist beforehand to be well-prepared for the procedure best suited to you.
All the tooth replacement options discussed in this article are reliable and work well for missing teeth. However, consulting a healthcare professional will determine your best treatment. Visit your dentist earlier and restore your tooth function.
*This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition*