Dental Tips: What are the replacement options for missing teeth?
If you are missing a tooth or teeth, particularly if the loss is not obvious when you smile, you may wonder if you need to replace it/them. After all, what is one or two teeth, more or less?
The answer is, they mean a lot. The human jaw and teeth are evolved to be 28 teeth working in unison. Not only does each tooth affect the teeth on each side, but each tooth also works with the two teeth on the opposing jawbone.
If you lose one tooth (or a few), it’s like taking bricks out of a wall. While things might initially seem OK, as time goes by the entire structure begins to decay.
The teeth on either side of the gap begin to move into the vacant space. At the same time, the teeth in the opposing jaw have nothing to work against and, they too can begin to function improperly.
At the same time, the jaw in the gap begins to erode and weaken, which can harm dental health and cause the face to sag into the gap and look prematurely old.
And the longer you wait to fill that gap, the worse the situation becomes and the more expensive it becomes to fix. In fact, wait too long, and some replacement treatments become impossible!
These are just a few reasons Norlane Dental Surgery recommends that missing teeth be replaced as soon as possible. And two of the best options for replacement are dental bridges and implants.
Dentures are another possibility, but they are the least permanent, hardy, and efficacious treatment so that we will save them for another blog post.
Advantages of Dental Implants
As mentioned, implants protect the surrounding teeth and bone. Bridges don’t protect these, and they can even cause strain on the teeth to which they were attached, particularly depending on what kind of bridge is placed.
Once implants are placed, they prevent bone ‘absorption’, which can degrade the jaw and cause the face to ‘cave in’ and look unnecessarily aged.
Implants also last longer – often a lifetime.
Finally, implants are the strongest and most natural acting replacement, functioning just as natural teeth do.
A dental implant is close to a tooth ‘replacement’ as dentistry can offer. An implant replaces the tooth root with an abutment (metal post as root) and crown on top.
This is the best possible solution to support the ligaments, bones, and nerves in the surrounding area.
This is important because this structure —bone, ligaments, and nerves — begins to deteriorate in the absence of a tooth.
The name “dental bridge” gives a hint as to its structure. It is quite literally a ‘bridge’ of artificial teeth that are anchored by healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth/teeth.
In most cases, a dental bridge requires shaving down the adjacent teeth and crowning them to hold the bridge in place.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
If multiple teeth need replacement, particularly if they are consecutive, bridges begin to be inexpensive compared to implants.
Bridges also require less time to place. Bridges usually take a few weeks to place, while implants can require surgery and can take months to complete.
In some cases, you don’t have to choose between implants and bridges, as a combination of the two is the best approach.
This is particularly true if the back molars are lost or a long row of consecutive teeth is lost. Finally, implants can also be used to support some kinds of dentures.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer as each case, and the budget may suggest a different approach. Norlane Dental Surgery is happy to consult with you as to which approach is best for your case.
During the consultation, we’ll decide on the best strategy for your missing teeth. The important thing is that you DO replace your missing teeth.
Dental Health Now at Norlane Dental Surgery!
At Norlane Dental Surgery, we believe everyone deserves excellent quality dentistry, and our goal is to help you achieve this.
Norlane Dental Surgery is a multi-surgery practice that has been operating for over 30 years taking care of the oral health needs of the community.
At Norlane Dental Surgery, our focus remains on providing patients with exceptional general, orthodontics and Implant dentistry.
We have a particular interest in implants, orthodontics and smile rejuvenation via veneers and crowns and bridges, while also dealing with the unexpected dental emergencies we all dread.
If you would like to know more about us, please contact dentist Norlane now for a consultation.
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We are located at 124 Sparks Road in Norlane.
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