Do you have a missing tooth? If so, you need to act quickly to replace it. Your teeth will begin to shift after you lose a tooth. Before long, you will have serious alignment issues. Learn your options for replacing your tooth.
Options to replace a missing tooth
Patients have three main options for replacing a tooth. They can choose implants, bridges or removable partial dentures. Each route has benefits and drawbacks to consider. Patients should educate themselves on the options before making a decision.
Dentists like implants because they look, feel and act like natural teeth. Implants comprise three parts. There is the titanium post that is placed in the jawline, taking the place of the tooth’s roots. Next, there is the abutment, and finally, there is the crown.
Patients need to go to the dentist at least three times to get implants placed. First, the dentist surgically inserts the implant. The abutment is attached during the second visit and the crown is placed during the third. The jawbone fuses around the implants, creating stability while also promoting bone growth.
In some cases, additional appointments are required. For instance, if a patient does not have enough bone to support the implant, a bone graft will be needed first. Also, if the patient has gum disease or decay, that must be treated before the implant is placed. Dentists evaluate patients during the initial consultation and let them know what to expect during the process.
Fixed dental bridges
Patients who have one or more missing teeth can also get fixed dental bridges. The dentist must remove some of the tooth enamel on either side of the gap to make room for the crowns. Bridges are cemented in place and the crowns are attached. Fixed dental bridges prevent teeth from moving, but patients can experience bone loss since the bones are not stimulated.
Removable partial dentures
Removable partial dentures are another choice for people who have lost a tooth or teeth. Patients must wear the partial during the day, but they can take it out when sleeping. When it is out, patients must clean it. Removable partial dentures usually consist of a pink-colored base designed to match the gums and a metal framework to stabilize it.
Removable partial dentures prevent teeth from shifting, but like fixed dental bridges, this restoration does not stimulate bone growth. Also, partial dentures can slip and make the gums sore. Patients might have to go back to the dentist regularly for adjustments to prevent sores from forming on the gums. Many people do get used to eating and talking with partial dentures, though.
Do you need a tooth replacement?
Do not wait to replace a missing tooth. Go to the dentist to get an implant, a bridge or a partial denture. If you are not sure which one you want, your dentist can help. Your dentist will make a recommendation based on your specific needs.
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