Missing teeth can change your entire appearance, be a source of shame and cause dental health issues. Missing teeth can change your smile as well as the structure of your jaw. It causes shifts in the aliment of your remaining teeth as they try to shift to fit the missing space.
Missing teeth can be due to several reasons like an accident or injury, gum disease, genetic condition, or weakening teeth and gums. Whatever the reason it can be very damaging to self-confidence. The good news is there are some solutions for this problem.
Some options available are very realistic and it is hard to tell the difference. Some of them are more invasive than others. While some are quick to put in place and easy to clean. The solution you choose for replacing your missing teeth should be discussed with your periodontist. You should also weigh out the pros and cons and consider what look and feel you want to go with.
Your smile is a big part of how you feel about yourself and you must choose something that makes you feel the most like you. Here are some solutions you can go with.
Solutions For Patients With Missing Teeth:
- Dental Implants
Dental Implants are the best option for missing teeth. They don’t interfere with other intact teeth and so can be seamlessly added into the open space. They are a permanent option for tooth replacement. Getting them though isn’t a quick procedure. First, the open space is fitted with a metal screw that replaces the root of your tooth and is what the tooth cap will fit onto. It takes a few months to heal and fuse with the jaw bone before you can have the cap placed on. It is important that you find a competent periodontist that you trust to do your implant. Dr. Diana Sedler from Cutting Edge Periodontist in Burbank, CA suggests seeing a periodontist if you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease. There are pros and cons of course and those should be noted as well. Some of the pros would be that they are permanent and lifelong as long as they are maintained, they don’t depend on the remaining teeth, they look and feel real, in most cases, they are the most effective option and provides you with the most authentic feeling smile. Some cons are that they are expensive and that they are invasive, the whole procedure also takes time from the first implantation to putting on the crown.
2. Implant-supported bridge
If you aren’t interested in the lengthy process of doing a dental implant then an implant-supported bridge may be a better option for you. This is great for teeth missing in a row. The two teeth on the ends are attached via the end spaces of the missing row of teeth. The ones in the middle don’t need to be attached. It is an economical option for teeth missing in a row and is just as effective as an implant while looking natural. The only issue is that they can only be used in certain cases. It does take some time to get the whole procedure done. However, in the case of replacing more than one tooth at a time, it is a great option.
3. Tooth-supported bridge
These are a bit different as they use the teeth next to the missing gap. A crown is placed onto the teeth and cemented into place. It gives a realistic look and does not require surgery. It is less inexpensive than dental implants making it a good option from the financial aspect. You should note that the adjacent teeth will need to be filed down this cannot be reversed. Food can slip under the bridge and increase the chance of infection. You will need to clean it thoroughly and go for regular dental checkups.
4. Removable Partial Dentures
This type of denture is comparable to a complete set of dentures. However, they are great for only replacing a few teeth. They are clasped into place using a metal clasp that hooks onto the surrounding teeth. They are a cost-effective option making it great when you only need to replace a few teeth. You can also add more teeth to them should you lose more in the future in the surrounding area. They also save time and money as you don’t have to go through surgery or any other length procedures. They are also easier and cheaper to replace or repair than other replacement options. While removable partial dentures are great on the make the feel might not be that amazing. They can be uncomfortable you also have to remember to remove them on a daily basis in order to clean them. They aren’t the sleekest looking so the look won’t be as natural as other options. All these are things to keep in mind.
5. A Flipper
A flipper is a form of a partial denture. It flips in and out of position. The great thing about them is that they don’t depend on the surrounding teeth. They do not need to be adhered to, attached, or screwed into place. They are inexpensive and noninvasive and a smaller design than regular dentures however the can be uncomfortable to wear, it is thicker and design and easier to break. It is temporary so you will have to eventually find another long-term option.
It should be noted that one of the major reasons to be referred to a periodontist is due to periodontal disease. However, the condition is not the same for all patients. Each case will need to be diagnosed and treated appropriately and a prevention plan should be developed to help with further deterioration. There are different levels of patients with the disease and each will require different considerations.
Finding the right solution for your missing teeth may take some time but consider what’s available to you before making a final decision. You will want to also consider things like the price and longevity of what you go with. Ultimately you want something that fits your criteria and gives you the most natural look and comfortable feel. Use this guide to help with your decision process.