Learn About Your Options For Replacing Missing Teeth
Prosthodontics Options for Tooth Loss
It’s easy to take our teeth for granted when we know they’re meant to last forever. But they don’t last forever for everyone. Missing teeth are a common occurrence in the US, so it’s important that you understand the common reasons for tooth loss and the different treatment options available for replacing missing teeth. Keep reading to find out more.
Reasons you might have missing teeth.
Injury, tooth decay, gum disease, old age, and poor oral hygiene can all be reasons for losing a tooth, multiple teeth, or all your teeth. However, some people are also born without certain teeth, a condition known as congenitally missing teeth (CMT), and it can affect several generations of a family. If you are born with fewer teeth than the average person, then you most likely have CMT. When genetics are not the reason for CMT, it’s often attributed to environmental factors like trauma, drug use, and infection. Usually the most common missing teeth for people with this condition are wisdom teeth, upper lateral incisors, and second premolars.
Different treatment options to replace missing teeth.
There are several treatment options available for patients who have missing teeth. These procedures will not only give you back a complete set of teeth (and the fantastic smile that comes with it), they’ll also help you maintain good overall health. Let’s take a look at some of the treatments we have at My Chico Dentist:
A dental bridge is a gum-colored device with artificial crowns attached on top of it. In this procedure, remaining teeth act as an anchor for your bridge. It’s a restoration that fills the space where one or several teeth in a row used to be. Often the end result is a natural-looking smile and restored full-mouth function. The most glaring disadvantage of this treatment is that it requires numerous visits to the dentist.
Success of the procedure also depends on the strength of the supporting teeth. If the anchors are not strong enough, there’s a chance the bridge may collapse. Your dentist will be able to assess and advise you of the health of your surrounding teeth and the treatment’s chance of success.
When complete extraction of your remaining teeth is unavoidable, immediate dentures can be the perfect solution. An immediate denture will eliminate the need to live without teeth for the length of time it takes your gums to heal after several extractions. It’s also a great option for patients who aren’t eligible for same day dental implants. With this tooth-replacement option, your dentist is not able to ensure a perfect fit as the impressions are made prior to the teeth extractions. It may also take some time for you to feel comfortable wearing the dentures, and you will need to have your dentures adjusted periodically.
Instead of a full set of dentures, your dentist may recommend a partial denture to cover only a specific part of your mouth. A prosthodontist fixes the replacement teeth to a plastic base that matches the color of your gums. The plastic base usually covers a metal framework.
At My Chico Dentist, we prefer to use metal because it is structurally superior, thinner, and more hygienic than other options available on the market. Partial dentures come with a clasp that attaches to the original, adjacent teeth. This clasp is usually visible and doesn’t blend in or appear as natural as a bridge or a dental implant.
All-on-4 Implant Supported Dentures
Replacing missing teeth with an All-on-4 implant-supported dentures is a wonderful option for people who want their dentures to fit more securely in their mouth. Through this procedure you’ll receive a set of dentures strategically held in place using four dental implants. Perhaps the biggest advantage of this treatment is that you won’t have to get an implant for each missing tooth, which can be a lengthy process.
A dental implant is an artificial metal tooth root. It’s surgically placed into the jaw bone to provide a stable anchor for a replacement tooth. While many options are currently available for restoring missing teeth, dental implants still remain the gold standard for a number of reasons. Natural bone loss is a side effect of treatments like dental bridges and immediate dentures, but dental implants actually improve the health of your jaw by providing the stimulus your tooth root normally would, ensuring the density of your jaw bone remains intact.
Dental implants also allow you to enjoy speaking and eating without worrying about your teeth slipping out of place, since your replacement teeth are permanently attached to your jaw. The only downside to getting this treatment done is that it’s an invasive procedure requiring a significant healing time.
Contact our prosthodontist for help with missing teeth.
How can you tell which tooth replacement option is right for you? Every treatment for restoring missing teeth has its own pros and cons. At My Chico Dentist, we have the specialized prosthodontic training to recommend a comprehensive treatment for missing teeth, depending on your situation and your aesthetic goals. Schedule your consultation with us today. We look forward to helping you look and feel like your best self.