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An Implant Dentist Discusses Missing Tooth Replacement Options
A visit to the implant dentist might be necessary for individuals who have lost a tooth due to gum disease, injury, tooth decay or a genetic condition. Regardless of the cause of tooth loss, the implant dentist will examine the oral cavity and recommend the best tooth replacement option to restore function and appearance. This article discusses some of the options available to replace missing teeth, including the pros and cons.
Tooth replacement options
Individuals who have lost their natural teeth can visit an implant dentist to get any of the following tooth replacement options:
Dental implants are usually recommended when a patient is missing one tooth or several teeth in different parts of the mouth. The procedure involves the placement of a titanium metal post to support a tooth restoration. Once the mouth heals following the implant placement (usually after some months), the metal post will serve as the permanent base for a prosthetic tooth. The number of implants placed depends on the number of missing teeth on the jaw.
The implant restoration looks just like the natural tooth and can last a lifetime with proper oral care. An advantage that dental implants have over options like dental bridges is that it does not need nearby teeth or gums for support, so the rest of the teeth will remain intact. Since the procedure involves surgery, the implant dentist will ensure the patient is in good health before recommending the procedure.
Fixed dental bridge
Patients who do not want dental implants can consider getting a fixed dental bridge instead. This tooth replacement option might be ideal if one or more teeth are missing in the same area. A fixed bridge closes the gap created by the missing tooth with a dental prosthetic. The artificial tooth is held in place by the natural teeth on either side of the gap.
Bridges are preferred because they have the feel and appearance of natural teeth. If the natural teeth are cosmetically impaired, the crown placed over them will also improve their structure. They are generally cheaper and less invasive than dental implants.
Removable partial or full dentures
The implant dentist may recommend complete dentures if the patient needs to replace all their teeth. However, if only a few teeth are missing, a removable partial denture might be recommended. This teeth replacement option consists of artificial teeth connected to a natural-looking base that matches the color of the gums. The dentures are supported by the gums or existing teeth, which can be difficult to adjust to, however, over-time, it does produce positive results.
Additionally, implant dentists often recommend implant-supported dentures, which is a hybrid tooth replacement option that combines partial dentures with dental implants. The dentures are secured in place by the implants, thus reducing the chances of sliding or looseness.
Find out more from an implant dentist
A missing tooth or teeth can affect the functions of the oral cavity, such as chewing and speaking since the entire teeth are designed to work together. It is advisable to consult with the implant dentist in order to know which tooth replacement option would be most suitable.
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