What Are The Options For Replacing Missing Teeth?

Most people look for options to replace their missing teeth due to aesthetic reasons. They say it is embarrassing to smile without a full set of teeth, especially for teenagers, young adults and professionals. However, there are more compelling medical reasons why you need to have your missing teeth replaced as soon as possible. If left uncorrected, this problem may lead to bone loss, loosening of the gums, and drifting where the surrounding teeth lean towards the extra space that used to have the missing teeth. So what are your options?

Fixed Bridge

This is only possible if there are still remaining neighboring teeth that are strong enough to hold the bridge or artificial teeth. The two ends of the bridge are permanently connected on top of the remaining teeth, so they are guaranteed to look real. The teeth where the dental bridge ends will have to be filed down until all the enamel is gone. The average life span of this option is up to 12 years.

The bridge is strong, but you will have limited food choices because it is not implanted in the jawbone. Moreover, the patient needs to have regular dental checkups, as the teeth being used as the dental bridge base are compromised when the enamel is removed. Experts also say that many patients who have fixed bridges will require root canal treatment sometime in the future.

Removable Bridge

Removable bridges are essentially the same as fixed bridges, only you can remove it for easier cleaning. Many patients prefer it over its permanent counterpart because they can easily take it out for cleaning, and soak it in a denture solution. Removable bridges are also more affordable than fixed bridges.

Nevertheless, patients whose neighboring teeth are not properly shaped, or have already been reduced from a previous treatment, are no longer a candidate for a fixed bridge; hence, only a removable bridge is viable.

Permanent Denture

This is a more flexible option as it can replace one or all teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Although it is permanent, the hold may not be as strong as a fixed bridge, as the artificial teeth and gum are only connected to the remaining usable ridge of the gum. In some cases, they are also connected to the bone beneath the gum. Additional adhesives may be used to secure the new teeth in place, especially for full dentures that need to replace an entire row of teeth.

Partial Denture

Many elderly patients prefer partial dentures because they are easier to clean. They are also cheaper, although the life span of each partial denture may only last a few years. Unlike permanent dentures, partial dentures are connected to the remaining teeth using braces.

For proper diagnosis and recommendation of the appropriate tooth replacement solution for your particular situation, be sure to consult with your Sterling VA dentist.