Whether you lose a tooth through neglect and decay or a simple accident, it can be a very unpleasant experience. Suddenly, you’ve lost some functionality in your mouth and, if the teeth were up front, your smile will make it readily apparent that something happened.
No one wants a mouth that is missing teeth, but too many people assume that the only procedure available to them involves unpleasant, loose-fitting dentures. That simply isn’t the case, and there are many effective alternatives for restoring your smile and replacing your teeth.
We’ve already talked about dental implants more in-depth, but we’re going to look at it again in this context so we can compare it to the other options.
The basics of the procedure involve implanting a titanium “root” and allowing the bone to heal around it and fuse to it. Then the abutment (the connector) is fitted to the top of the root, and then the crown is attached on top.
There are several reasons why this is one of the most popular options for tooth replacement. Implants are:
- Just like real teeth
- Able to match the color of the teeth around them
- Fitted to your mouth
- Able to function just like normal
- Good for your mouth because they leave more of your other teeth intact
Dentures are often associated with being the final resort of the elderly who have lost too many teeth over the years. But that isn’t necessarily the case, and modern dentures look very natural, can be fitted very securely, and can solve a lot of problems. There are two basic types:
Complete dentures – These are full, permanent dentures that are intended to be used in the long term. As the name suggests, they’re meant to replace all the teeth.
Partial dentures – This option is for dealing with a number of teeth in a row that have been lost. These are removable, but still look realistic. They are the removable that are attached to a pink/gum-colored plastic base.
There are still many good reasons to go with dentures. They closely resemble your natural teeth, they fill the empty spaces so the remaining teeth don’t shift, and help preserve the shape of your mouth and face.
A dental bridge replaces one or more missing teeth. A crown is placed over the two surrounding teeth with the replacement tooth set between them, thereby allowing us to “bridge” the gap in the teeth.
This is an established way to get your smile and functionality back to where you want it. Just like all the other methods, this will protect the shape of your face and make sure the teeth don’t shift.
This process does involve changing the contours of the surrounding teeth. Some of the enamel has to be removed to allow a crown to fit over them. We’ll get everything into place, but we will also want to check up to make sure it’s all working correctly.
Completing Your Smile
It doesn’t matter how you lost a tooth. What matters is that you come in as quickly as possible to get it repaired. There are several methods to restore your smile and the functionality of your mouth, and we’ll work with you to determine which option is best for you.