If you’ve lost one or more teeth, you’ve joined millions of Americans who have lost their pearly whites due to old age, gum disease, or injury. Missing teeth make it difficult to eat, speak, and interact with others because of a loss of confidence. To maintain dental health we recommend getting a tooth replacement inserted, which could be dental implants, bridges, or dentures. This will keep your smile full and clean.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are inserted into the jaw to replace missing teeth. The procedure involves surgical placement of metal posts into the bone underneath the gums. The replacement tooth, called a crown, is attached to the post so that the tooth looks natural. If you are missing multiple or all of your teeth, dental implants can be used alongside bridges or dentures to make these tooth replacements more secure. Dental implants are a preferred tooth option because they do not affect the adjacent teeth and feel like natural teeth. They are also very secure and do not fall out like removable dentures. To qualify for a dental implant, you must have an overall healthy mouth, and the jawbone must be able to mount the posts.
Dental bridges are a good option if you are missing more than one tooth. They “bridge” the gap between the missing teeth and surrounding teeth. The bridge is bound to the teeth surrounding the gap. This is a fixed bridge, but there are also removable bridges and implant bridges. Removable bridges are essentially regular bridges that can be taken out to clean and put back in. Implant bridges are the kind used in conjunction with a dental implant. Dental bridges are made from metals and porcelains, and can keep the shape of your jaw intact.
If you have lost most, or all, of your teeth you may want to consider dentures, or false teeth. Dentures can be complete dentures or overdentures, and differ based on whether you have remaining teeth left. Complete dentures are for those who have lost all natural teeth and cover the upper and lower gums. They are custom designed to go over where the old teeth would have been. Overdentures are removable and can be used if your remaining teeth or dental implants offer enough support.
If you are missing teeth and want to complete your smile again, talk to one of our in-office dentists today to find out what alternative is best for you. There are many complexities to creating a long-term solution, so call us today so we can start planning to get you on the right track.