Depending on your particular circumstances, there are various methods for replacing missing teeth today. One of the most popular options today is using dental implants primarily because of their strength, durability, and stability. Other common treatment options for missing teeth replacement include the following:
Fixed Bridge – A fixed bridge may be used to replace missing teeth if the remaining teeth in the area are sufficient in number, and are healthy and strong enough to provide support for the artificial teeth. When making the bridge, the size of the adjacent teeth are cut down or reduced, with all enamel removed, to accommodate the prosthetic tooth or teeth. The prosthetic appliance is then suspended between the existing teeth, providing a replacement for the missing teeth that is both functional and cosmetic.
This treatment form, however, is limited by the permanent preparation required for the abutment or the supporting adjacent teeth which are exposed to risks of trauma to the nerves that may, in turn, require future root canal treatment.
A long-term fixed bridge lodged between natural teeth can be expected to last for an average of 10 to 12 years before replacement is required. Fixed bridge replacements will usually need further treatments because by then, the abutment would have probably been compromised further by dental diseases like periodontal bone loss or cavities that may have advanced over time.
Dentures – Full or partial removable dentures may be used to replace one or more or even all teeth in either the upper or lower jaw, or both jaws. The remaining teeth in the jaw will be tasked to support the dentures in the case of partial dentures. Additional help will be provided by the mechanical support through the underlying bone and the remaining gum ridge. Full dentures in the maxillary or upper jaw may likewise be aided by the suction between the underlying gum in the roof of the mouth or the palate, and the dentures.
Why Replacement for Missing Teeth Are Necessitated
There are various reasons on why a missing teeth or tooth must be replaced. These should be weighed against the inherent risks associated with leaving the open spaces unfilled. The resulting changes that may happen in your remaining dentition must also be taken into consideration.
Bone loss and drifting are two consequences of neglecting to address the open spaces between teeth. Once either of the two conditions happen, the results will be more difficult to fix, not to mention more expensive.
Replacing missing teeth is therefore not just an aesthetic concern. It can lead to a more serious condition if not addressed immediately. Modern dentistry offers a lot of alternatives to replace missing teeth. Consult with your dentist on the option that will best suit your particular needs.