As we age, our teeth become more susceptible to gum disease and decay. These factors combined with neglect can cause tooth loss. Without our teeth, the smile suffers both aesthetically and functionally. Tooth loss patients experience digestive complications as well as a loss of confidence in their smile.
Fortunately, modern dentistry offers many options to replace missing teeth and reclaim the beautiful smile you deserve.
With this option, patients can replace their whole tooth from root to crown. Dental implants can support single crowns, rows of bridges, and even full arcs of dentures. No other restoration offers the added benefit of jawbone support.
Ideally, a dental implant patient would have adequate bone mass to support the implant from the get-go. But there are ways to add to the jaw bone, through various bone grafting procedures.
If you’re only missing but one tooth, a bridge may be your ideal option. A bridge is a prosthetic tooth held in place by two adjacent teeth, it essentially bridges the gap left behind by the missing tooth.
Bridges will mostly keep the teeth in line, by preventing the surrounding teeth from migrating into the empty space. Although this will keep the jawbone largely the same over time, eventually the jawbone will atrophy in the space directly underneath the prosthetic tooth.
There are many variations of dentures available. When awaiting a more permanent restoration, you may receive a temporary denture. These small devices are also known as “flippers” because they flip in and out of the mouth easily. These are similar to a removable partial denture but are less sturdy. A flipper does not require the surrounding teeth to be altered.
A removable partial denture is a somewhat self-explanatory device. These can replace a couple teeth at a time, most often the back molars. They are held in place by metal wiring similar to a Hawley retainer.
Full dentures are held in place by either adhesive paste or suction. They can replace a whole jaw’s full of missing teeth at once. These are cost-effective solutions, but they do allow the jaw to atrophy significantly over time.
Teeth are an essential part of the oral structure. They affect the surrounding tissues as well as the integrity and fullness of the jawbone. Different options will be right for each person, and only a dentist can best advise you on your choices.
For more information on tooth replacement options, please browse the website of Jason A. Schermer, DDS. If you have further questions about the services we provide here or would like to schedule a consultation, feel free to give us a call. We look forward to working with you!