If you have lost one or more teeth, there are several options available to you. Millions of people have lost one or more of their teeth due to cavities, gum disease, or injury. Having missing teeth can make food chewing difficult. It can also cause issues with speaking and make people feel bad about themselves. This is why visiting a dentist for dental implants, bridges, or dentures can be an important part of maintaining your dental health.
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that are inserted into a person’s jaw to replace a lost tooth. Inserting dental implants involves the surgical placement of a metal post into the bone beneath your gums. A replacement tooth, called a crown, will be attached to the post, giving the appearance of a natural tooth. In situations where a person is missing several teeth, or all of them, bridges or dentures can make these tooth replacements more secure.
Unlike a bridge which affects the adjacent teeth, dental implants do not affect other teeth so they are preferred. Implants also feel and look more natural than removable dentures which are also less secure.
Dental implants, however, are not the best option for everyone. To have a dental implant, you must be in good health and your jawbone needs to be able to hold the implants in position. Also your gum tissue needs to be free of disease. If these situations are an issue for you, than bridges or dentures may be a better option.
A fixed partial denture, also known as a bridge, is a good option for people with one or more teeth missing. Partial dentures bridge the gap between other teeth. They are bonded to the surrounding teeth keeping them in place which is why they are called fixed as apposed to removable.
Another type of partial denture is called removable partial dentures. This type of bridge allows you to remove and clean it yourself.
Yet another type is an implant bridge. This type of denture is attached to dental implants in your jawbone.
There are a verity of materials used to make dental bridges. They can be make from gold, alloys, or porcelain. Partial dentures are good for maintaining the shape of your face as well as the integrity of your bite allowing you to chew your food and talk clearly.
For those who don’t have any of their teeth or have lost most of them, dentures, also known as false teeth, can be the best option for teeth replacement. The two types of dentures available are complete dentures and over dentures.
Complete dentures are used when the person has no teeth remaining or the remaining teeth can be removed. Complete dentures cover the upper and lower gums. When a person has their teeth removed, their dentist will give them an immediate denture to wear for about 45 to 60 days, at which time their gums should have healed and a normal denture can be custom fitted for them.
Overdentures are removable dentures which are used if a person still has some remaining teeth including dental implants. If your remaining teeth or dental implants are able to provide adequate support, overdentures may be used.
Dentures are used to make your mouth look and operate normally. They maintain your facial shape allowing you to feel good about yourself. As with dental bridges, it can take awhile and lots of practice after you get them before you can chew and talk normally again.
If some of your teeth are missing, talk with us about whether dental implants, bridges, or dentures may be options for you.