There are several reasons are behind missing teeth. Age, accidents, trauma to the mouth and oral region, tooth decay, diseases, hygiene habits or even genetics. Whatever be the reason for losing teeth, replacing the lost teeth is possible. This helps to maintain and promote oral health, not to forget the support it gives to self-confidence and speech.
Dental clinics provide different treatment options, one can choose these treatment procedures based on their need, suitability and also costs. The major options that one can opt for in teeth replacement is discussed.
Dental Implants – This is one of the most reliable tooth replacement options that one can go for. They are almost similar to the natural teeth. They are anchored in the jawbone like a natural tooth. A single tooth or multiple teeth replacements are possible using this procedure. The procedure is a bit lengthy as it involves cutting the jawbone and inserting the ‘root’ of the replacement tooth into it. This procedure is durable and lasting almost close to a natural tooth that one can get. It does not require any additional care, following normal oral hygiene practices will be sufficient. Neighbouring teeth are not affected by this procedure and are cost effective if taken care of. The only downside to this procedure is that jawbone health needs to be good to go for this treatment as the root needs to be supported in the jaw bone.
Dentures – A simpler option to replacing teeth is dentures. These dentures are replacement teeth that are removable and can be used for people who have lost some of their teeth. If a replacement is required for the whole set of teeth then complete dentures are recommended by dentists. The replacement teeth are placed in areas where teeth are lost. They can be removed and cleaned and slipped on with ease. Clasps are available to hold the removable dentures in place. Dentists made these dentures by obtaining a mould of the lost teeth and making exact replicas of the natural teeth, if metal supporters are visible then that is a sure give-away sign. But now, one can also avail the clasps made of gum coloured material that help to merge with the colour of the gums. They are not as costly as dental implants and can be repaired easily. They might feel a bit uncomfortable to wear and are not that sturdy as other dental prosthetics and hence one needs to be careful in handling them.
Implant supported bridge – If there are missing teeth in a row, then implant supported bridge is best suited. This helps to tide over the issue of having dental implants for each teeth. This will be able to support missing teeth in a row, the teeth at the end will be secured. So the teeth in the middle do have to be rooted in the jawline. This is a better option for those who have lost teeth in a row and serves as well as dental implants and are long lasting. This might need to be replaced at a later time for a healthier option, of course depending on the recommendation from the dentist. This is also a good option when looked at from the aesthetic side, the replaced teeth look like natural teeth and provide the same structural and functional support. Cleaning the teeth is similar to cleaning natural teeth and does not require any specific care. They are long lasting if even proper care and does not usually require replacement.
Tooth supported bridge – A similar procedure when there is a single tooth missing is achieved by tooth supported bridge. This bridge is placed supported by the neighbouring tooth. This device will have two crowns which are placed on the natural teeth and abutment crowns are placed on the replaced teeth. For providing lasting support they are usually cemented in place using metals or alloys like silver, gold or amalgams etc. The advantage is that the procedures are less when compared to dental implants. The bridge helps in reducing individual implants. This procedure does not require much time at the dental clinic and will be over in a few visits. Once the device is placed, it requires proper attention while cleaning. Food particles can get under the bridge. This is a small area and cleaning it requires greater focus as it is difficult to remove the food. Tooth decay or other gum diseases can happen if unchecked.
Resin bonded bridge – Often used as a temporary measure, the procedure helps teeth in the front. The front teeth are usually very delicate and are not as strong as the molars and their chewing strength. This non-invasive treatment helps in replacing front teeth. The neighbouring teeth are not shaped too much, dentists will remove only a small amount of enamel for fixing the abutment teeth. The wings are attachment to the replacement teeth. As it is fragile, it can pop off sometimes when hard food is chewed on and will require replacement from the dentist. But this is often a better option than removable dentures. It provides the person with continued support in speech and also oral function such as keeping the other teeth in their position and not shifting.
Flipper – A temporary structure that helps when one or two teeth need replacement. As the names suggest they can be flipped in and out of position. They help to give confidence to the wearer by removing the embarrassing situation of losing teeth and this procedure does not require much time. This is often chosen by many as a stop-gap arrangement when they are thinking of more durable solutions. They are useful as they can be slipped in after tooth extraction. Keeping the remaining tooth in position after tooth removal as other teeth tend to slip from their position when there is a gap in the teeth row. This procedure is not costly but as the device is delicate it needs care in handling.