Fix Missing Teeth
No matter the reason for your missing tooth, you do have five main treatment options.
- Removable Partial Denture
If you have lost a tooth towards the front of your mouth and you prefer to show a complete smile, then a removable partial denture can help you during the day. Depending on the type of denture, the replacement tooth or teeth can be attached with metal clasps in the mouth or on either side of the missing tooth. Depending on the location of your metal clasps, they may be noticeable when you smile, eat, or speak. Removable partial dentures are also susceptible to moving while eating and speaking which can shake your confidence as much as a missing tooth. Removable dentures are taken out at night and soaked in a cleaning solution. They do not require any damage to the surrounding teeth and depending on the material, they can be less expensive up front than other solutions. Without any stimulation to the jawbone where the tooth is missing, the bone can deteriorate over time and may require a new denture for the changing mouth shape. If you are missing all your teeth, then you can talk to the dentist about a full denture.
- Temporary Denture
If you are working towards an implant or a bridge with the dentist to replace your missing tooth, the dentist may give you a temporary denture to fill the gap. Often people call this a flipper because the tooth is attached to a removable piece that flips out the mouth. Depending on what the next step is in your treatment plan, temporary dentures hold the place of the missing tooth until the mouth is healed and ready for the bridge or implant. A temporary denture can remind you of a removable partial denture but it is not as sturdy, large and expensive. The teeth on either side of the flipper do not need to be adjusted to allow the flipper to fit and work properly.
When you have teeth on one or either side of the missing teeth, the dentist can use a bridge to fill the gap. Depending on the location of the missing tooth, the dentist can choose from a few different types of bridges and a few different materials to give your replacement tooth the best look and function as possible. A bridge usually requires a crown placed on the tooth on either side of missing tooth with a false tooth attached in the middle of the crowns. Bridges are permanently placed, unlike dentures, and the healthy teeth on either side need to be filed down to be properly fitted with crowns. Depending on how many teeth are missing and damaged, the location of the missing teeth and health of the jaw bone, a dental bridge can offer a means of improving your smile with the new crowns on either side of the replacement tooth.
- Dental Implant
A dental implant is the most natural looking and feeling tooth replacement but it can be expensive, time consuming, and not everyone is a candidate for an implant. The dentist will place a metal rod, usually titanium, below the gumline and attach a false tooth to the rod. Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants have a long life and will not need to be replaced over time. Dental implants function like a natural tooth when eating, talking, biting and smiling and will seamlessly blend into the rest of the teeth in your mouth.
You always have the option to leave the gap without replacing the tooth at all. Without pressure from the tooth, the bone will deteriorate. The rest of the teeth in your mouth will shift without the tooth to keep them in place. And the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are more prone to decay.
More on Fixing Teeth : Fix Broken Teeth