Why Replace Missing Teeth?
The health of your mouth can affect your whole body. When your teeth are healthy, you are healthier overall as well. Missing teeth can affect your bite, speech and food choices. This can lead to social, psychological and nutritional problems. In addition, when teeth are lost, you rely more on the remaining teeth, increasing the risk of premature wear and tear which can lead to additional tooth damage and further tooth loss. Lost teeth can also lead to changes in your bite which can cause headaches and jaw pain.
Who would want their appearance and health to deteriorate? That’s the natural consequence of missing teeth – the jaw literally shrinks away. People can lose up to 25% of their supporting jaw bone structure within the first year after tooth loss. The great news is that implants act like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, health and appearance. Your periodontist is an expert in implant dentistry and will determine if dental implants are right for you.
Tooth Replacement Options
A variety of options are available to replace your missing teeth. And no one solution is best for every patient and specific circumstance. Many factors must be considered to determine which tooth replacement option is best for each patient. Dental implants can be successful for almost everyone, regardless of their age and are often the best choice. Your periodontist will perform a comprehensive examination and take X-ray images of your jaw to determine what option is best for you.
A fixed bridge is an artificial prosthesis that is cemented on to adjacent teeth. Multiple adjacent teeth need to be drilled down and thus permanently damaged in order to support a fixed bridge. A fixed bridge can be a good option but usually only when dental implants cannot be placed.
Removable Partial Denture
A removable partial denture is made out of metal and acrylic and replaces missing teeth like a retainer. It is held in place by metal wires or clasps that hug the adjacent teeth. These metal wires are often visible when smiling and can also damage teeth long term. A removable partial denture needs to be removed periodically during the day to clean underneath it, and also needs to be soaked in a cleaning solution at night when sleeping. Food often gets caught underneath making it uncomfortable to eat.
A complete denture is made out of acrylic and replaces all of the missing teeth in a single jaw. Some people learn to adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, and even intolerable. Similar to removable PARTIAL dentures, complete dentures also need to be removed periodically during the day to clean underneath them, and also need to be soaked in a cleaning solution at night when sleeping. Food also gets caught underneath them making it uncomfortable to eat. As the jaw continues to shrink away with time, the dentures become looser, making it difficult to eat and keep in the mouth.
Dental implants are the most comfortable and long lasting solution for replacing lost or missing teeth. They form a strong foundation and keep the jaw bone healthy. Implants can support individual teeth, bridge work, or secure dentures in place. Unlike tooth bridges, and removable partial dentures, healthy teeth are not damaged. And unlike tooth supported bridges, with proper personal and professional maintenance implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth are attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.
Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?
A dental bridge or partial denture can sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge the space of the missing teeth. Dentures and partial dentures are often loose and uncomfortable. This makes it difficult to eat as well as embarrassing to speak in public. In addition, removing a denture or a partial denture at night is very inconvenient.