Replacing Missing Teeth

One way to lose teeth…

is when they don’t fit together properly

Let’s say you just had a tooth pulled, and your dentist suggest you replace the missing tooth. Maybe you are wondering why you need to fill in the hole? Nobody can see the empty space when you smile. So what’s the problem?

The problem is this. When you leave an empty space in your mouth, you jeopardize the health and function of all your remaining teeth. It’s the domino effect. And if you think back to my recent article “Bad Bite and Teeth Loss”, you’ll remember that one way to lose teeth is when they don’t fit together properly.

Teeth shift to compensate for the space left behind by the missing tooth (or teeth) and when that happens:

  • Your bite gets out of harmony with your jay joints.
  • Your chewing pattern gets thrown off and puts a strain on all your remaining teeth.
  • You become at risk for losing more teeth.
  • Your appearance and health suffer. Tooth loss causes bone loss, and bone loss contributes to a sagging face. There are three different ways to replace teeth: bridge, implant and partial denture.

Dental implants

Dental implants are the nearest thing to natural tooth function available in dentistry at this time. Using the same principles and materials used in joint replacement surgery, dental implants are securely anchored into bone and will attach to single or multiple replacement teeth.

Implants are also used to anchor full-mouth dentures.

Partial dentures

partial denture is a removable dental appliance that replaces missing teeth. In other words, unlike the fixed bridge and the dental implant, you will need to put it into your mouth and take it out to clean. The artificial teeth are held in place in your mouth with support from your teeth, jawbone and gums.

A fixed bridge

A dental bridge does exactly what the work implies-it bridges across an empty space. A fixed bridge is anchored from one strong tooth to another strong tooth and fills the gap that was left by the missing tooth (or teeth).

Be sure you talk over all of your options with your dentist. It is very wise to know exactly what you are getting, what is involved and what will it be like when completed. Remember, it is your money, time and health that are at stake. Dentistry is too expensive to be done over the second time.

Original Article