Tooth loss can be caused by various factors, including injury, disease, decay, or congenital defects. A complete set of teeth is essential for eating and speaking properly, so it’s necessary to determine the best course of action for replacing missing teeth. For most people, the loss of a single tooth is a minor problem. It can be replaced with a relatively inexpensive dental implant or bridge. But for millions of people who have lost all their teeth on one or both arches, the solutions aren’t as cheap or convenient.
Tooth replacement is necessary when one or more of your teeth are missing. There are several options for replacing teeth. The condition can affect your appearance, as well as your ability to eat and speak. Your dentist will discuss the best choice for replacing the tooth or teeth you have lost. The options available include:
Full-Arch Dental Implant
At one time, dentures were the only option to replace multiple missing teeth. While they can be effective, full dentures are not ideal for many reasons. The main issue is that they are loose and move around in the mouth. This can make it difficult to eat and speak. Fortunately, modern restorative dentistry offers a variety of options that allow patients to replace multiple missing teeth with natural-looking and feeling prosthetics.
A full arch of dental implants — also called All-on-4 or All-on-6 — is a permanent solution for loose teeth involving all teeth in the upper or lower jaw (or both). These implants are the most popular tooth replacement option available today. This treatment uses four or six dental implants inserted into the jawbone to support a custom prosthetic arch of replacement teeth. The implants fuse with the jawbone and are a sturdy base for prosthetic teeth. The resulting smile looks and functions just like natural teeth, allowing you to eat any food you want with confidence.
Dental implants require surgery and can be expensive, depending on how many teeth you need to replace and what type of implants your dentist recommends. Implants are usually topped with a crown to look and feel like a natural tooth. They are small titanium posts placed into the missing tooth’s bone socket. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The process can take several months from start to finish. But dental implant technology is very advanced, and the success rate for implants is high.
Implants look and feel like natural teeth and last a long time if you take care of them properly. A dental implant can also help preserve the jawbone, prevent bone loss when teeth are missing, and improve your bite by filling out your facial features. When healed, a dental implant functions as a new tooth root and will hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place without affecting neighboring teeth.
Because dental implants are not connected to other teeth like bridges, they have a positive impact on overall oral health. Dental implants are extremely long-lasting and will last for numerous years. Whenever teeth are lost, implants can help to maintain facial shape by minimizing bone degradation.
To fix a bridge to natural teeth, the dentist has to reduce the size of adjacent healthy teeth by removing part of their structure so that they can be crowned and serve as anchors for the bridge. Like implants, these bridges also help prevent bone loss in the jaw. They’re less expensive than dental implants, and they don’t require surgery.
However, they can make it more difficult to clean under your gums, which could increase your risk of developing gum disease or decay problems with the adjacent teeth that support the bridge. An impression is taken of your teeth so that a dental technician can make the bridge and crowns in a laboratory and later cement onto your prepared natural teeth or dental implants.
Implant-supported dentures are a more permanent solution for replacing all-natural teeth in your upper or lower jaw. Implant-supported dentures may be a possibility for an individual if missing all of the teeth on the top or bottom arch of one’s mouth. They attach to implants, which have been surgically placed in your jawbone, using metal attachments that fit over the implants instead of resting on top of your gums like traditional dentures do. The main advantage of implant-supported dentures is that they don’t have to be removed each day. Because implants secure these dentures, they function more like natural teeth than traditional dentures.
Implant-supported dentures are typically more expensive than other types of dental prosthetics. However, these dentures are usually more comfortable and durable than different dentures because they aren’t as likely to become loose. You’ll enjoy a more secure fit and better chewing power than you would with removable partial dentures.
Removable partial dentures
Partial dentures are an affordable and convenient way to replace some missing teeth. If you’re replacing a tooth or teeth next to each other, partial dentures might be the better choice. It relies on the remaining teeth for support and should be removed every night for cleaning. If a few adjacent teeth are missing, a bridge may be a better option than a partial denture, as it does not need to attach to other teeth for support.
It is a removable appliance that fills in the gaps in your smile. Removable partial dentures also allow you to remove them to clean your mouth and gums. If it doesn’t fit properly, it can cause sores in your mouth. They are an affordable option for replacing teeth. They’re made of materials that match the shade of your natural teeth and rest on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth with small clasps.
If you are considering any tooth replacement devices, take your time and educate yourself as much as possible. Ask a lot of questions and ensure that you get a proper fitting. If you have a dental plan, ask your dentist to work with the providers to get the best price possible. A little planning can prevent a lot of pain and money wasted on devices that do not fit properly.