Your Options for Replacing Missing Teeth Clearly Explained
If you have missing teeth or will soon be having teeth extracted, you will be presented with a number of choices for replacing them. Knowing the details about those options before committing yourself to one is important to ensuring you make the best choice to suit your needs. Here, we’ll go over the options available to our dental patients for replacing missing teeth in detail to help you gather the information you need to make well-informed decisions as you plan your dental restoration.
Missing Teeth Option #1: Fixed Dental Bridges
If you have one or two missing teeth, fixed dental bridges are an option for your dental restoration. The most common type of dental bridge is an appliance made up of a pair of dental crowns with one or two artificial teeth placed between them. To place the dental bridge, your restorative dentist will reshape two natural teeth to be fitted with the crowns – one on each side of the gap left by tooth loss. The bridge will be cemented in place, using those crowned natural teeth for support and retention. Dental bridges last about 7 years on average, so patients who choose this option will need to replace these appliances regularly.
Missing Teeth Option #2: Removable Full Or Partial Dentures
Removable partial dentures are another option for replacing one missing tooth or several. These appliances are typically composed of artificial teeth set into a gum-colored acrylic base, built upon a metal framework. They are retained by clasps, usually metal, that grip natural teeth. Full dentures are an option for replacing missing teeth in patients who have lost all or most teeth in one jaw or both. They generally consist of a full arch of artificial teeth placed into a gum-colored acrylic base. Patients who choose removable dentures to replace missing teeth will need to have them relined or replaced regularly, typically every 3 to 5 years.
Missing Teeth Option #3: Dental Implant Restorations
Dental restorations built upon a foundation of dental implants are quite different from other options, since they replace the root of a missing tooth, rather than just the crown, making them the only option that protects against bone loss in the jaw. These restorations are done by surgically placing tiny titanium cylinders – dental implants – into the jawbone to serve as artificial tooth roots. The implants will bond with the jawbone in the same way as natural tooth roots do, forming a secure anchor for replacement teeth.
If you need just one tooth replaced, you will have a single dental implant placed by one of our skilled oral surgeons. After the implant has bonded with the jawbone, it will be topped with a small post, called an abutment, upon which will be placed a natural-looking crown. If you need several teeth replaced, you can opt for a series of single implants topped with individual crowns, or an implant-supported permanent bridge can be used, which may be anchored by 2 or more implants. To replace all teeth in one jaw or both, permanent dentures are generally used, which require the placement of anywhere between 4 and 8 implants in each jaw, which will secure a full arch of replacement teeth. Dental implants have an average lifespan of 25 years, and with careful oral hygiene and good dental care, they can last a lifetime.
So there are the basic options dental patients have for replacing missing teeth in Clarksville, TN. Dental implants are, as most dental professionals will tell you, the best option available for most patients, while fixed bridges and removable dentures can be good solutions for the small percentage of patients who are not good candidates for dental implants.
Looking for more detailed information on these teeth replacement options? Download our free ebook, Top 3 Best Ways to Replace Missing Teeth.
on Jun 12th, 2015
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