Your teeth are one of your best assets, and they can directly affect your appearance and self-esteem. According to Dr. Noie, “The loss of a tooth or teeth does more than affect the appearance of your smile, It also affects speech, mastication or chewing, your jawbone integrity, and so much more.”
There are several reasons a person can lose a tooth. Injury to the mouth, tooth decay, gum disease, or even genetic predisposition can cause a person to lose a tooth or more. However, that is not the end of the road. There are various solutions that can work for treating your missing teeth if you have adequate information.
Here is a quick advice for you if you’re missing a few teeth – don’t leave it that way. You may think it can be neglected and will probably just affect your appearance a little, but the truth is that, over time, it could affect your teeth’s alignment, possibly give you a lisp, affect your oral health, hygiene, and general confidence.
Luckily, the dental health sector has advanced a lot over the years, making it possible for people with missing teeth or malocclusions to fix their teeth and have better oral health and smile.
Here are some options you can consider for your missing tooth
- Dental implants
You would have heard of this tooth-replacement method as it is a common one. Dental implants replace the lost tooth with one that feels like an actual tooth. What’s more impressive about these implants is that it lasts for a very long time, throughout a person’s lifetime even.
However, the process is quite long – the tooth’s root would first be replaced by screws that would serve as an anchor for the replacement tooth. The implant has to heal first-this is shown by the secure fusion of the implant to your jawbone. This process takes a few months before the dental crown is placed and secured on the implant.
- It is very effective and lifelong
- It looks very natural
- It is costly
- It has a lengthy healing period
- Implant-supported bridge
Imagine having to do dental implants on multiple missing teeth. It’ll be rather unnecessary and would take a long period to get it all done. Implant-supported bridges are better suited for missing teeth in a row. With this method, only the teeth at the two ends of the row are secured with implants. Every other tooth in between is held without any form of screwing.
- It looks natural and is as good as a dental implant
- It is economical
- It can only be used for a row of multiple missing teeth
- They are not lifelong and will need frequent replacement
- Tooth supported bridges
Rather than place implants at the end of missing teeth on a row, the other teeth(existing teeth) support the bridge placement. The teeth adjacent to the missing teeth are used, and a crown is placed on them and secured into place. The procedure is conducted over a few visits and done by a professional and experienced dentist.
- It looks and feels real
- Surgery is not needed
- It is more economical than dental implants
- The teeth receiving crowns have to be filled for the peaks to fit perfectly
- If the bridge isn’t done correctly, it can cause damage to teeth
- There is a high risk of infection as food particles can easily slip under the bridge, making cleaning difficult.
- Removable partial dentures
This is a much simpler and affordable option for teeth replacement than dental implants for people with a few missing teeth. In addition, these removable partial dentures are fixed into place, ensuring that the new false teeth are positioned appropriately.
- If you lose any more teeth in the future, new false teeth can be added to the partial denture, saving resources.
- It is a very affordable and straightforward method
- Easy replacement and repair of partial dentures
- It can cause discomfort
- These dentures have to be taken out and cleaned daily
- It doesn’t have a natural look, unlike a dental implant
Flippers are partial dentures that are cheap, temporary, painless, independent of surrounding teeth, can flip in or out of positioning, and don’t have clasps made of metal.
- It is affordable and painless
- Provides temporary replacement till a permanent one is found
- It can be very uncomfortable
- Theirs is a higher chance of breakage of the flipper.
The choice of choosing a replacement for your missing teeth is yours and that of your dental professional to make. It would be best if you chose a convenient and comfortable option that works well with your budget.
It might be challenging to find all you are looking for in one replacement option, but you should opt for the one with the maximum benefits for you. Remember, fixed teeth improve your appearance and confidence, which brings better opportunities and better love life!