Teeth Replacement Options To Elevate Your Oral Health and Smile
Missing teeth can be a result of many different reasons ranging from genetic predisposition to severe tooth decay, gum disease, injury etc. Regardless of the cause – missing teeth or even a single missing tooth present significant problem for proper functioning of your mouth. It can negatively impact the alignment of your remaining teeth, structure of your jawbone, cause other teeth in your mouth to shift and gravitate toward some of the empty spaces. It can also impede your speech, ability to chew food and negatively impact your nutrition and well-being. All teeth play a role in maintaining a proper function of your mouth so when they are lost, they should and must be replaced.
There are several ways to replace missing teeth:
- Dental Implants – either for a single tooth or to support a bridge or hybrid denture (discussed below)
- Dental Bridges – which can be tooth supported or implant supported
- Dentures – which can be complete, partial or hybrid
Implant Crowns and Bridges
An implant crown is one of the best options to replace a missing tooth and restore the esthetics and function of your mouth. When a tooth is lost, the bone that once supported it resorbs, making the adjacent and opposing teeth less stable and prone to tipping. Replacing the missing tooth with an implant will stall this process and stabilize your bite.
The process begins with a surgical placement of the implant fixture and allowing it to heal and fuse with the bone. Depending on the location in the mouth, the implant can be temporized with an interim crown for improved esthetics.
The final implant crown assembly consists of an abutment that is screwed onto the implant fixture and a crown that mimics the natural tooth.
An implant supported bridge can be used to replace multiple missing teeth. It is a single restoration that uses dental implants neighboring the space for support. It typically requires multiple appointments to complete.
Single Implant (Anterior- Healing Cap)
A bridge can be used to replace a missing tooth and restore the appearance and function of the mouth. It is a single restoration that uses the teeth adjacent to the open space for support. This is a good treatment option especially if these adjacent teeth are already broken down and need to be protected with full coverage restorations like crowns.
It typically requires multiple appointments to complete this process, and involves a temporary bridge phase while the custom bridge is being crafted by a dental lab. Once completed, the area is now restored to optimal function and appearance. Click on the video from Spear Education to see a visual presentation of this procedure.
Dental Bridge (Anterior) Video
Complete and Partial Dentures
For patients requiring replacement of all teeth in the upper and/or lower arch of the mouth, removable dentures are an excellent treatment option. They provide improved esthetics by replacing the missing teeth in the mouth, and improved overall function for eating and speech. Removable dentures are designed to be removable without the assistance of a dental professional.
The process of creating dentures requires a close collaboration between the dentist and a dental lab and begins with the dentist taking several impressions of your gums. It usually takes multiple incremental "try-in" fittings to ensure the best final fit of your denture. After a brief period of adjusting to the feel of the dentures in your mouth, they will begin to feel natural to you - making eating easier and your speech clearer.
Removable Complete Dentures
When circumstances do not allow for a bridge or dental implants, and especially when there are multiple missing teeth in an arch, removable partial dentures are an excellent option to replace them. They provide improved esthetics by replacing the missing teeth, and improved overall function for eating and speech.
It will typically take multiple appointments to complete this process. Removable partial dentures are an appliance placed in the mouth containing replacement teeth typically mounted in a base made of a pink gum-colored resin formed over a metal frame.
Removable Partial Dentures
Hybrid dentures (also known as implant dentures) are one of the most innovative ways to replace a full arch of missing teeth via implants. The implants fuse with the jaw bone which helps support and stabilize the denture.
Advantages of hybrids include:
- Improved esthetics and self-confidence.
- No slipping, moving or clacking gives a sense of security during eating and speech.
- Better taste sensation and speech since hybrid dentures don’t cover the palate.
- No need to remove them at night.
These dentures are designed so that they are non-removable by you. Removal for regular maintenance and cleaning is done by your dentist during scheduled appointments. Click on the video from Spear Education to see a visual presentation of this procedure.