Tooth Replacement Options
Missing teeth may seem like a minor inconvenience, but in reality, it can cause a significant amount of long-term problems, such as slurred speech, a shrinking jawbone, and difficulty chewing, all of which will gradually weaken the surrounding teeth while the average adult loses about seven teeth in their lifetime. With dental care technology, there are numerous tooth replacement options that people can choose from, all of which have a wide range of benefits and prices. In this article, we’re going to outline the different types of tooth replacements available, and include their benefits and disadvantages to see which is right for you.
As the most popular permanent solution for missing teeth, dental implants offer a natural look and feel and give a solid foundation for your teeth and gums to use as support. Dental implants are installed first with a titanium metal alloy rod that is placed into the gums by an oral surgeon or periodontist. The healing time for rod placement can take up to three to six months. After the gums heal, your dentist will attach the abutment, or the tooth-shaped object, over the implant to properly secure the artificial teeth in. After a small recovery period, the false teeth will feel and look like natural teeth and can last a lifetime with proper care.
Dentures, whether they’re partial, complete, or implant-supported, will allow the patient to have the ability to have natural teeth without the risks of invasive surgery. Ideal for those who are missing multiple teeth, the teeth are attached to a gum-colored plastic base and depending on the type of dentures, it will last longer and can easily be removed and cleaned.
Partial Dentures – These dentures contain metal clasps or a metal framework to attach themselves to the surrounding teeth, and can fit into space where one or more natural teeth occur.
Implant-Supported – Four titanium screws will be placed in both the upper and lower gums, and once the implant fuses, a denture will be attached to the implants.
Complete – Patients who are missing all of their upper and lower teeth will be able to benefit from dentures the most, as they provide the feeling of teeth without invasive surgery.
Bridges secure artificial teeth with a bridge, a metal frame attached to the adjacent natural teeth, to improve your smile and ability to speak and eat. As one of the least invasive tooth replacement options, bridges will require some removal of enamel to wear the bridge and make the crowns.
Implant-supported – For those who have missing teeth but don’t want dentures, implants provide a more permanent solution. Your dentist will seal the titanium rod to the bridge with cement and screws to fit properly.
Tooth-supported – If one tooth is missing, a tooth-supported bridge can be incorporated by placing a false tooth, or pontic, in between the natural teeth to help support the bridge.
If you’re interested in the various tooth replacement options available, then contact Dr. Kevin H. Speer at Oak Grove Dental Center in Milwaukee, OR. Dr. Speer provides consultations and CT scans for all of his patients and aims to keep his dental patients happy, healthy, and always smiling.