When you are dealing with missing teeth it can be a major inconvenience and problem but fortunately, you’ve got several options. The worst thing you could possibly do is to sit by and do nothing! A missing tooth is more than just an issue with aesthetics and how your smile looks. Replacing a lost tooth helps ensure the stability and health of your remaining teeth and protect your gums and jaw bone from infection and future deterioration. Teeth are for more than just looking good or giving you something to chew with.
It is important to take correcting missing teeth seriously because a seemingly minor issue now can quickly become a major hassle and issue to correct. Untreated issues with missing teeth open the door for major problems down the road as the other teeth shift out of place, get infected, and begin to decay. You will also start having major issues like multiple tooth loss or periodontal disease. We are committed to helping our patients determine what dental implant options are best for them and their unique situation and needs. Following are some of the more common approaches we here at Comfort Care Family Dental recommend to patients who come to us with one or more missing teeth.
The most common way to correct missing teeth is to use dental implants. They can be used to replace a single tooth in most cases but several implants can be used to replace multiple missing teeth if needed. These implants are actually more of a tooth root replacement by using a metal screw and then a realistic looking cap is placed on top that resembles a natural tooth. The biggest factors into whether implants will be a good option are the health of the jaw bone and gums. The bone needs to be strong enough to support the metal screw and the gums need to be healthy to keep the cap in place. Certain systemic health conditions may make implants impossible- cancer treatments, diabetes, and gum disease among others.
- Aesthetically pleasing, functional, realistic, reliable, long-lasting
- Stimulates growth of jaw bone and improves bone density over time
- Does not compromise strength or integrity of the other teeth
- Has a lower risk of developing periodontal disease than other methods
- More expensive in short term- but might be a better option in the long-term
- Constitutes minor surgery and needs time and multiple steps to complete
Fixed Partial Denture
Before dental implants became a modern option for tooth replacement and something everyone had access too, a fixed partial denture or a bridge as it is commonly called, was the standard choice for tooth replacement. When using this replacement option, the teeth on either side of the missing tooth, known as the “abutment” teeth will be capped with a realistic looking crown. These crowns will then be used to support a replacement crown that is placed in the cap. It is designed much like a picket fence with the two side posts anchoring the space between them. The result is no gap and a realistic looking filler tooth in its place. It is important to remember that when correcting missing teeth there are many dental implant options and it is important to find the one that is right for your needs.
- Allows for the normal function such as chewing and some see it as more aesthetic
- It has less wait time than dental implants as they can usually be done in one day
- Less expensive than most of the modern implant types used
- The abutting teeth must be shaped and sanded to fit the crowns
- Because of the lack of supporting post, its susceptible to tooth decay
- Jawbone beneath bridge may deteriorate due to lack of root stimulation
Removable Partial Denture (RPD)
An RPD has been one of the tried and true options for replacing a series of missing teeth and is much like a regular set of dentures except that is only for a portion of the teeth rather than the entire top or bottom set. These RPD sets are made of an artificial tooth that is then attached to material that looks like normal gum tissue. It is attached with special clasps to anchors attached to the adjacent natural teeth. It can be removed for cleaning.
- Aesthetic, functional, easier than removing teeth for a full denture set
- Least expensive option since the installation and hardware is minimal
- Greater risk for gum disease and tooth decay
- Anchor teeth may eventually become damaged or loos
- Can be uncomfortable and cumbersome at times
- May not fit right over time
- Bone density loss occurs over time
If you have been looking or answers on how to deal with your dental issues or need help correcting missing teeth problems you need to contact the dental care experts at Comfort Care Family Dental today! They can go over all the dental implant options with you and help you find the solution that best fits your unique situation and needs. So call and set up your appointment today and enjoy a healthy smile once again!
Comfort Care Family Dental P.C.
1001 E Chicago Ave #143, Naperville, IL 60540