Your teeth are very important. A healthy set of teeth would not only help you to give an attractive smile but also to eat and speak comfortably and to maintain good general health.
The absence of a single tooth or multiple teeth can make speaking, eating, and chewing very difficult for you. More so, if you are missing a tooth or more teeth, you would have been aware of their importance to your appearance and oral health.
The NHANES reported that about 72% of adults between the ages of 20 to 64 are suffering from missing tooth. Fortunately, the advancement in dental technology has brought a number of solutions to this dental problem. Hence, missing teeth can be replaced.
Your dentist would suggest any of the following options for tooth replacement to you depending on your needs. This guide explains each of the tooth replacement options below to help you choose a dental treatment that suits your dental need.
- Dental Implants
- Fixed Bridges
- Removable Partial Dentures
- Full Dentures
Basically, dental implants are tooth root-like structures that are surgically inserted into the jawbone to give support to replacement tooth/teeth e.g. dental crown, dental bridge, or dentures.
Most patients with missing tooth/teeth prefer dental implants because they can be used to replace from a single tooth to the full set of dentures. Dental implants are mostly made of titanium and other materials that are accepted by the body. Dental implants are the best, most stable, most secured, and long-lasting tooth replacement option.
However, not every patient with tooth replacement need is eligible for the dental implants procedures. This is because dental implants involve surgical operations, which requires the patient to have good general health.
More so, the patient must either have sufficient jawbone to support the dental implants or be able to undergo a prior bone grafting surgery to accumulate necessary bone needed for the implant. After the implant surgery, patients are required to observe a daily dental care practice and to make regular visits to your dentist.
Also, dental implants option is the most expensive of all tooth replacement options. Hence, any patient with tooth replacement need must consider the cost before settling down for this option.
To learn more about the dental implants procedure and how to receive affordable dental implant treatment, visit our tooth replacement page.
Just like its name, a fixed bridge closes a dental gap caused by a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. The dental bridge is usually made of porcelain. The process of placing the porcelain bridges also requires multiple visits to the dental office just like the dental implant procedure. More so, customizing the porcelain bridges and placing it in the right mouth area takes time.
The dental bridge looks, functions, and feels very close to the natural teeth. More so, it doesn’t require removal for cleaning. But unlike the dental implant, dental bridges are less expensive.
These two terms are usually used when talking about the dental bridge:
- Pontic: the attachment tooth that replaces the missing tooth
- Crown: the dental cap that covers the attachment tooth
Advantages of the fixed bridge:
- Less expensive than the dental implants
- It doesn’t require removal for cleaning
- It looks, feels and functions like the natural teeth
Disadvantages of the fixed bridge:
- Since it doesn’t require removal before cleaning, cleaning under the pontic may require extra effort.
- It relies on the teeth adjacent to the gaps for support. This may eventually affect the adjacent teeth to the bridge
- It is more expensive than the removable bridges
Removable Partial Denture
As its name suggests, the removable partial denture can be easily removed from the mouth for cleaning. The removable partial denture has some replacement teeth attached firmly to a plastic base that looks very similar to your gums. The plastic base may conceal a metal framework, which often attaches to your natural teeth.
It requires careful practice to place, remove, and replace the removable partial denture. Sometimes, it may feel tight or odd during the first few weeks of treatment. However, with time, you would get used to it.
Though you are required to wear the removable partial denture for about 24 hours daily, your dentist may instruct you to take it off at bedtime and place it back when you wake up. The removable partial denture requires follow-up appointments with your dentist, who will look for sore spots or pressure points in your mouth.
As time goes on, some changes may occur in your mouth, which may affect how the removable partial denture fit into your mouth. As a result, the denture would no longer fit well, it may chip, crack, break or one of the replacement teeth may lose out. If this occurs, your dentist should be able to make the repairs in a day. However, complex repairs take longer time.
Advantages of removable partial denture
- It is more affordable than dental implants and porcelain bridges. In fact, it is the most affordable tooth replacement option available.
- It can be easily repaired than fixed bridges
Disadvantages of removable partial denture:
- It is less stable than other tooth replacement options.
- It can break easily or be lost
- It can make patients feel uncomfortable
- Removing and reinserting it for cleaning or at night may look embarrassing
- It may require more frequent replacement than other options
In case you have lost most or all of your natural teeth, full dentures can be used to replace them. Full dentures can improve your quality of life and give you a better smile.
More so, full dentures support your lips and cheeks so that your facial muscles do not sag.
There are several types of full dentures, which include:
- Conventional Complete Dentures
- Conventional Complete Dentures
- Implant-Supported Complete Dentures
- Immediate Dentures, etc.
All the four options listed above are reliable and work perfectly for tooth/teeth replacement. However, ensure that you consult your dentist before you make your final choice because discussing the various tooth replacement options with a dental professional is the best way to ensure that you get the specific and suitable dental treatment you need.
If you need more information on tooth replacement options, visit out tooth replacement page. If you have questions or need help with deciding which replacement option will work best for you, don’t hesitate to contact us today.