Surprisingly, tooth loss is not uncommon and can be due to different factors including being removed because of decay or being knocked out in an accident. Fortunately, there are plenty of options, so there should be at least one solution that will fit your situation.
Dental implants artificially replace a natural tooth root and are posts inserted into the jawbone to support a restorative or replacement crown, bridge or denture. Benefits include a high success rate, and they are secure and stable. There is minimal maintenance required other than good oral hygiene and regular checkups and cleaning by the dentist. Implants feel natural and comfortable, providing the best visual appeal. They may help to prevent shrinkage of the jawbone, and nearby teeth do not have to be involved in the placement procedure. Implants can last for many years, even decades.
Implant Supported Dentures
It is possible to support a full arch denture (either upper or lower) or a fixed bridge using implants. The full arch denture supported by implants are stronger than dentures. They can be removed easily for cleaning, and often patients find eating is more enjoyable because they feel less bulky. This treatment may also be suitable for people who have suffered significant jawbone loss.
When it is not necessary to replace every single tooth with a single dental implant, an implant-supported fixed bridge can be used. This bridge looks like a tooth-supported fixed bridge and can either be cemented or screwed into place. It provides very natural looking results and makes it easy to speak or eat virtually anything. There is no need for the dentist to grind down your healthy teeth and the implant supported denture should last for many years before it needs replacing.
Tooth-Supported Fixed Bridge
A tooth-supported fixed bridge consists of two crowns, which are fitted onto teeth on either side of a gap. The crowns are attached to the replacement teeth. This type of bridge is permanently cemented into place. It looks, feels and functions just like your real teeth. Maintenance is easy, and a fixed bridge can be brushed and flossed as normal. However, they generally do not last as long as implant supported bridges and may require extra effort to clean underneath the replacement tooth as there is a possibility that it could become a food trap. The treatment is a relatively low risk and can often be completed quickly.
Removable Partial or Complete Dentures
A removable partial denture is easily taken out of the mouth for cleaning. They are used to replace missing teeth in the same arch, and the teeth may or may not be next to each other. Partial dentures often have a clip that attaches to your natural teeth, which holds the denture firmly in place but still allows it to be easily removed. It is an effective way of filling in the gaps in between teeth and restores your smile. Restoring missing teeth will allow eating to be a more pleasant experience and make it easier to speak clearly. The procedure is non-invasive and relatively quick.
Removable complete dentures fit over the top of the gums. They can significantly improve your appearance and provide support for the muscles in the cheeks and lips which will restore facial aesthetics. They are the most affordable and the treatment is relatively fast. As with removable partial dentures, they should be removed nightly for cleaning and to rest the gums. Removable dentures can look natural, and gum tissue color can be closely matched to your natural gums.
How to best replace missing teeth is an important decision. Choosing an option that is right for you can be confusing, and Dr. Sabharwal at SKS Dental can help you by discussing all the choices available to you.