Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
Depending on your needs, the best solution for your missing teeth might be a bridge, a denture, or a dental implant
If you are missing one, several, or all of your teeth, a restorative dentist can help you recover the natural look and functionality of your missing tooth or teeth. One or more of the following options may be available to you, depending on your needs and preferences.
Bridges are commonly used to replace a missing tooth, provided that the two adjacent teeth are strong and healthy. Bridges are reasonably durable and will perform almost like a natural tooth when chewing and speaking, and they will also provide the important function of preventing other teeth from shifting into the gap left by your missing tooth. The downside of using bridges to replace missing teeth is that the healthy neighboring teeth may be negatively impacted. They will have to be shaved down a bit to accommodate the bridge apparatus. Plus, food particles may become trapped between your fake tooth and your gum, where they will feed bacteria that can cause decay in the neighboring anchor teeth.
Dentures are another common option for replacement of missing teeth. They are most often used when all the teeth on the top or bottom jaw have been lost, but a partial denture can also be used to replace several adjacent teeth. Dentures are very affordable, which is probably a deciding factor for many patients. However, dentures can make it difficult to chew or speak at first, and if the dentures do not fit properly sores and irritation may occur.
Dental implants are by far the best option for the replacement of missing teeth, especially for young, healthy patients. Because dental implants actually bond with the bone in your jaw, they serve as a permanent solution. The crown that tops the implant may need to be replaced every decade or so, but the implant itself will become a part of you. The main disadvantages of dental implants are their cost and the fact that getting them requires a surgical procedure. Some patients may need bone grafts to strengthen their jaw before getting implants.
Ask Your Dentist About Your Options
Of course, the best way to know for certain which is the right type of tooth replacement for you is to ask your dentist. Feel free to contact the expert restorative dentists at California Dental Group to learn more about our solutions for missing teeth.