Living with broken or damaged teeth is an unfortunate reality for many people. Not only can missing teeth affect your smile, but they can also cause opposing teeth to drift out of place. Luckily, there are several dental technologies that can be used to replace missing teeth. Options like dentures, bridges and dental implants can help you protect your bite and surrounding teeth. Here is a closer look at each of these options:
Modern dentures are so natural looking that no one will know you are wearing one. Both the gum and teeth are specially designed to look lifelike and mimic a natural smile. A major drawback of dentures is that they are removable. Many people are wary of the idea of removing their teeth each night.
If you are only missing a few teeth, a small denture can be made to clasp around existing teeth. Clasps can be made of either gold, stainless steel or acetyl resin. Each material has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.
A dental bridge is a special device that uses the teeth surrounding the gap to support a replacement tooth. One of the biggest disadvantages of dental bridges is that healthy tooth structure on either side of the gap will often have to be removed in order to support the replacement tooth. The support, also known as an abutment, typically takes the form of a new crown.
The replacement tooth, known as a pontic in dental terminology, is attached to the support structure on either side of the gap. It is important to note that even a single missing tooth may require the removal of healthy tissues on either side of the missing tooth.
Most dentists and dentistry journals favor dental implants over other tooth replacement options. Dental implants are placed directly into the jawbone which prevents the bone from collapsing into the area where a tooth has been removed. One of the biggest advantages of choosing dental implants over other options is that surrounding teeth are not impacted to take the abutment.
While cost is one of the biggest drawbacks of choosing dental implants, keep in mind that they also last longer than any other tooth restoration option. Over time, dentures will require replacement as teeth and gums change shape. Similarly, the gum under a dental bridge can change shape due to the lack of support. This means it will eventually need to be replaced as well.
If you struggle with a less than perfect smile because of broken or missing teeth, there may be a solution for you. Vising your local dentaist is the best way to determine which of these otpins is right for you.