Replace Missing Teeth
Losing your teeth can have implications for both your oral health and your appearance. The gap formed by a missing tooth can cause other teeth to become crooked and move out of position, causing changes to a person’s bite. These changes to the teeth can make it more difficult for people to properly clean their teeth, which can lead to an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Missing teeth can also cause self-esteem issues, as people will feel self-conscious about smiling, eating and talking in case people see their missing tooth/teeth.
Three Main Ways to Replace Missing Teeth :
Luckily, there are multiple options for replacing missing teeth which can improve both your oral health and your appearance.
1. Dental Implant
Dental implants are ideal to replace 1 or 2 missing teeth, because dental implant does not need to rely on adjacent teeth being cut in order to replace the missing teeth.
Dental Implant Involves The Following Steps :
A dental implant can be used for both single and multiple missing teeth. The procedure for dental implants involves the following:
- A scan is taken of the missing teeth and your mouth.
- A 3D X-ray is taken of the mouth.
- A 3D plan of the implant type and location in the mouth is created.
- The implant is placed in your mouth using a 3D planned surgical guide.
- Wait 3-6 months for the implant to integrate with the jaw bone.
- A custom-made connector and ceramic crown are placed on the implant.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a popular choice for people with missing teeth because:
- They are the closest thing to a natural tooth. The crown(s) have been made to resemble the shape, colour and size of natural teeth.
- They are secure.
- They don’t affect any surrounding teeth.
- They can last for at least 10 years.
- They can be combined with other dental treatments.
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
Disadvantages of dental implants include:
- It can have a long recovery period.
- They can fail if they don’t properly attach to the bone.
- They can be more expensive than other dental treatments.
2. Dental Bridge
In some cases, the area of missing tooth/teeth is too narrow to fit a dental implant. Thus, a dental bridge may be needed instead of an implant to replace missing teeth.
The bridge requires 1 tooth on each side of the missing tooth/teeth area to be shaped, in order to support the bridge. The bridge process may require 1 to 2 appointments to complete the bridge fitment.
Dental bridges consist of one or more pontics (false teeth) which bridge the gap of missing teeth by being attached to the natural teeth on the other side by using dental cement.
The different types of dental bridges include:
Traditional bridges: The most popular bridge comprises one or more false teeth that bridge the gap of missing teeth. The false teeth are held into place with dental crowns which need to be fitted to both of the adjacent natural teeth.
Cantilever bridges: Similar to traditional bridges, but they’re only secured to one adjacent tooth.
Composite bridges: They consist of a Pontiac with mental/porcelain ‘wings’ which are secured to the adjacent natural teeth using composite resin. Since there are no crowns involved, there are no permanent alterations made to the surrounding teeth.
The procedure for getting a dental bridge depends on the type of bridge you get. For a traditional or cantilever bridge, the dentist will remove enamel from your natural teeth to prepare your natural teeth for the crowns. When the natural teeth have been prepared, the crowns of the bridge will be cemented onto them.
For composite bridges, crowns aren’t involved. The pontic (artificial tooth) will have two wings which will be cemented to the back of the adjacent teeth using composite resin.
The Benefits of Dental Bridges
The benefits of dental bridges include:
- They come in different forms, so it’s easy to find a fit that’s perfect for you.
- They don’t need to be removed at night.
- It restores your smile.
- It prevents your teeth from shifting.
The Disadvantages of Dental Bridges
The disadvantages of dental bridges include:
- They don’t last as long as dental implants.
- How effective they depend on the strength of natural teeth
3. Dental Denture
In cases of several missing teeth, a denture may be required.
If implants are needed to significantly increase the denture retention in the mouth, the implants are inserted first. After the 3-6 months of implant integration with the jaw bone, the denture process may begin.
Dentures are fake teeth that are worn to replace missing teeth.
The main types of dentures include:
Permanent dentures: Also known as ‘fixed dentures.’ They are affixed to the jawbone using dental implants.
Removable dentures: Also known as ‘conventional dentures.’ They are specially moulded and fitted to the patient’s mouth and can be removed to be cleaned. They can be used as both a short-term and long-term solution.
Complete dentures: Also known as ‘full dentures.’ They consist of an entire set of false teeth which can be either permanent or removable.
Partial dentures: They fill gaps by attaching to your natural teeth. They provide both a removable and permanent solution.
Overdentures: Dentures that are secured by implants but are still removable.
Flippers: A removable partial denture that replaces a single tooth.
Before dentures are made, an X-ray and mold of your mouth will need to be completed, so an accurate denture can be made. The dentist will then insert a metal framework (called a Try), which allows for a trial fitting to take place. Once both the dentist and patient are happy with the trial fitting, another appointment is made for the insertion of the final denture(s).
The Benefits of Dentures
The benefits of dentures include:
- Can be tailored to every individual’s mouth.
- They can be removed, which makes them an ideal solution for patients not ready for a permanent solution like dental implants.
- They improve the look of your smile.
- They are easy to clean.
- They can reduce the risk of further oral health issues.
The Disadvantages of Dentures
The disadvantages of dentures include:
- They can be uncomfortable.
- They can move around while talking or eating.
- Some people might find the regular cleaning of the dentures tiresome.
Your oral health has an impact on your overall health, which is why missing teeth should be replaced as soon as possible. Multiple dental treatment options are available for missing teeth – the main three being dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures. The dental treatment you get will depend on your financial situation, your oral health, and the recommendation of your dentist.
Dental Denture Involves The Following Steps Over Weekly Appointments:
- 1.Impression of the missing teeth area in the mouth.
- 2.Try-in of the proposed denture, whereby the teeth are still set in wax.
- 3.Fitment of the denture in the mouth.
Why Do People Lose Their Teeth?
People can lose teeth for a myriad of reasons, including:
- Tooth decay
- Gum infections
- Periodontal disease (gum disease)
- Tooth abscesses
- Cracked teeth
- Poor nutrition
- Genetic factors
What Are the Treatments for Children Who Have Missing Teeth?
Children can also lose their permanent teeth, however, they often can’t receive the same dental treatments as adults because their jaws are still growing.
Dentists will often come up with a temporary solution like flipper dentures or composite dental bridges to treat children who have lost their teeth.
Can a Missing Tooth Regrow?
Once you lose a tooth, it can’t regrow. The only option for replacing a missing tooth is getting professional dental treatment.
Are Dental Treatments for Missing Teeth Painful?
Like all dental procedures, dental implants, dental bridges and dentures can be uncomfortable. However, your dentist will give you some anesthetic and will do their best to ensure that the procedure is as pain-free as possible.