The benefit of replacing missing teeth is more than just to look good. In fact, doing so will keep both the mouth and the jaw healthy and full. Moreover, it may also delay signs of aging.
The teeth play an important role in the face’s appearance and structure. A complete set of teeth will keep its overall shape and length and without molars, the jaw will eventually shrink. With the deterioration of the jaw alignment, the cheeks and the other soft tissues will lead to the face sagging and drooping. In fact, other people will perceive you as older than your age because of your sunken face.
Missing teeth also affect gum health as bacteria are not prevented from going inside the root system that serves as the connection between the jaw and the teeth. They may also infect your bone structure and cause periodontal disease.
Overall health is also influenced by missing teeth, because of many vitamins and minerals lost to make food softer. Self-confidence is also affected when one tries to hide an incomplete smile.
The good news is that there are many options available nowadays to replace missing teeth. Click through to this article to find out what your options are to have a complete smile again.
Crowns and Bridges
Even though the visible part of the tooth is missing, the roots might still be intact and healthy. In this case, restoration is possible using a crown, also called a cap. These are specially fabricated in a dental laboratory and may be made of ceramic or porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or even gold. Crowns are permanently fixed on the roots and are also used after specific dental procedures like root canals.
If there is more than one tooth missing, a fixed bridge is used to replace them. A bridge is a unit that consists of the crown/s, as well as at least one prosthetic tooth right in the middle. The crowns are connected to healthy teeth beside the gap, and the artificial tooth will replace the missing one. They are very natural-looking and quite permanent. The downside is the need to remove some of the healthy original tooth structure to place the crown, which might lead to gum problems, tooth decay, and even root canal issues in the future.
This is a cost-effective method of replacing missing teeth and has been around for many decades. Compared to crowns and bridges, dentures are removable. There are a few types available, from removable full dentures, which replace a mouth full of teeth with removable partial ones, if there are still some original teeth still left. Another type is implant-supported overdentures, which are also full dentures but are kept in place by at least two dental implants. While these implants keep them from slipping off, they are still removable.
While dentures are cheaper and easier to attach compared to crowns, they are not as permanent and users may have problems eating and speaking normally. Additionally, they may worsen jaw bone loss.
The best option to replace missing teeth is to get dental implants. These are small posts that are put inside the jawbone through minor surgery. They are like little screws that are made of titanium and over time, they fuse to the jawbone to create a solid and stable base that is also unseen. Crowns are then attached to these implants and they look and feel like real teeth. Dental implants can be done to replace just one or also multiple teeth. An entire arch of either the bottom or the top row of teeth is also possible. The best part of this option is that it is great at preventing any possible bone loss in the jaw. Although it is the most expensive option out there to replace missing teeth, they are also created to last for the rest of your life, so investing in them will be worth it. They are also sturdy like real teeth, so you will be able to eat even that thick slab of steak you love.
There are a few factors your dentist will consider when deciding on an option to replace missing teeth, including your overall health. This means you should consult with your dentist on the best option for you to regain your full set of teeth and that beautiful smile.