Losing a tooth is not a good experience for anyone. It will affect your smile, which in turn may influence your self-confidence. There are many reasons you might end up with missing teeth. It could be due to cavities, gum disease, or dental injury.
Bad eating habits and an unhealthy lifestyle, such as smoking, also contribute to conditions that may result in tooth loss. Do you have one or more missing teeth? Your dentist may recommend dentures, bridges, or implants. But which option can best restore your smile? Here are some things you need to know about each possible solution:
- Dentures. A denture is a device made with either plastic or porcelain teeth to replace your missing teeth. It comes with a plastic base available in colors that match your gum tissue. Those who are missing most, if not all, of their teeth will be great candidates for this option. Unlike dental bridges or implants, which are permanently fixed into your jawbone, some dentures are removable. This means you may remove them at night, so your gums and jaw can rest.
Partial dentures generally replace teeth on either of your upper or lower jaw. These either have a base made with a plastic or metal framework. They're often used as a temporary solution as you wait for your gums and jawbone to heal before getting a different type of treatment, such as a bridge. Full dentures, on the other hand, are made to replace your entire set of teeth. They're attached to your gums, usually with a special adhesive or by sealing them using a special dental implant.
- Bridges. If you're missing one or more teeth, your dentist may recommend dental bridges. They’re designed to span a wider gap between your teeth, making them an excellent option for replacing several teeth at once. Bridges are replica teeth that use one or more of your existing, natural teeth on either side of the gap to secure the bridge or filler teeth in place. A bridge has an underlying structure to support one or more of the replacement teeth. This structure anchors onto dental crowns that cover your natural teeth. A bridge can either be removable or permanent.
- Implants. These are currently the strongest devices available. Implants are deemed the best approach for replacing missing teeth permanently. Your dentist will fix a titanium post into your jawbone and cover it with a tooth replacement, known as a crown. You can have it replaced every five to 15 years. This depends on the kind of material it's made of and how well you took care of it over the years. Your dentist will place one implant at a time. This makes it an ideal option for patients who only lost one or two teeth. Unlike dentures and dental bridges, implants can help prevent bone loss. As a matter of fact, implants usually stimulate jawbone growth. Dental implant surgery is a safe procedure. But like any operation, getting implants carries some risks.
Do you want to find out which tooth-replacement option is best for your case? Call Bronxville Family Dental today in Bronxville, New York, at 914-935-7600 to schedule your dental checkup.