Why Replace Missing Teeth
Tooth loss can be traumatic for an adult, impacting your ability to eat and speak properly and affecting your emotional health. No one wants to show off a smile that has gaps, so many people who have lost teeth simply stop smiling. Embarrassment can extend to all areas of life, resulting in professional and social isolation.
The physical effects of tooth loss will compound over time causing:
- The remaining teeth to shift which can lead to tooth grinding and damage.
- Jawbone tissue beneath the missing teeth will deteriorate over time without a tooth root in place to stimulate it, causing a sunken and collapsed facial appearance.
- Overall health issues can insue as it becomes harder to chew more healthy foods.
Tooth Replacement Options
The following tooth replacement options can improve your health and quality of life:
Fixed Bridge. A bridge is made up of a false tooth that is attached to dental crowns on either side. The teeth surrounding the gap are shaped for crowns, and the restoration is placed by cementing the crowns on each end of the bridge to the prepared teeth. Bridges are natural looking and effective, but they do require reduction of healthy tooth structure.
Full or Partial Dentures. Partial dentures replace one or a few missing teeth, and full dentures are used when no teeth remain. These removable prosthetics, made of a gum-colored base that is affixed with false teeth, are cost effective compared to other tooth replacement methods. However, they often lose their fit over time, which causes discomfort and embarrassing slippage.
Dental Implants. Dental implants consist of an artificial tooth root inserted in the jawbone and a dental crown placed on top of it. Alternatively, several implants can be placed to affix a denture or bridge to the jaw. Because they are permanent, implants offer the most natural look, feel and stability of all available tooth replacement options.
Additional Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants can restore tooth function, appearance and confidence the same as bridges and dentures. However, they offer an additional benefit that that bridges and dentures do not. Because they act like natural tooth roots, they stimulate the jawbone in the same manner, which helps you maintain healthy bone density and prevents the aged facial appearance that comes with missing teeth.