Living with missing teeth can be extremely challenging. It compromises basic functions such as chewing, swallowing and talking.
Moreover, it also promotes bone loss and contributes to changes in facial proportions which further leads to facial sagging.
Missing teeth affect a person functionally, aesthetically and even mentally.
It can lead one to feel self-conscious about themselves, which leads to lowered self-esteem and confidence. It has the potential to affect one’s personal, professional and social interactions.
Therefore, it is imperative to replace missing teeth as soon as possible by a board-certified dentist near you.
What are your teeth replacement option?
If you are missing a tooth or several teeth, you may be searching for your teeth replacement options. This section will briefly shed light on various options you have for replacing missing teeth.
The most common and traditional form of teeth replacement that has existed since the inception of dentistry is dentures.
Dentures are removable prosthesis teeth replacement options. When removable prosthesis replace one or a few teeth, it is known as a partial denture. When it replaces all the teeth, like in cases of completely edentulous arches, it is called a complete denture.
Problems that arise with removable prostheses
A significant drawback of removable prosthesis is the fact that they are removable. Dentures can get dislodged and snap out when you eat or talk. It affects the way you talk, as their bulky nature tends to alter speech.
Moreover, dentures restrict what you can eat. Removable prosthesis can sustain only 10% of the chewing forces in comparison to our natural teeth. This means you won’t be able to eat as freely as you’d like. This can compromise nutrition as well. In addition, dentures tend to alter the taste a little, and there is a learning curve with dentures.
Dentures also do not stop the process of bone loss, implants effectively prevent the process of bone resorption. Since the roots of the teeth no longer stimulate the jawbone, it begins to shrink in size and slowly will wear off. This changes the facial proportions, and eventually, the face will sag, and the lips will turn inwards, giving that aged appearance.
Removable prosthesis also have to be replaced every few years (5-8 years on average) as even the best quality dentures become worn off with regular use in a few years. They have to be fitted regularly as your jawbone shape changes.
Although removable prosthesis are a cheaper tooth replacement option but if you calculate in the long run, they turn out to be expensive.
A dental bridge can be used to replace a single or a few missing teeth, but not all teeth. It is a type of fixed dental prosthesis. False tooth or teeth are suspended with the help of a dental crowns that are placed on the healthy teeth adjacent to the empty space.
The biggest drawback which comes with dental bridges is that they require tooth preparation of healthy teeth and, in the long run, can weaken these abutment teeth.
Did you know that the first dental implant was placed in 1965?
The patient who received these passed away in 2005 with their dental implant still firmly intact. That means these implants ran strong for 40 years.
Dental implants were introduced to counter the drawbacks of removable prostheses and dental bridges. A dental implant is essentially a screw-shaped surgical fixture that is placed into the jawbone via a tiny incision on the gums. The implant is left for a period of 3 months to allow it to integrate with the jaw bone. This process is known as osseointegration.
Once this takes place, an implant essentially behaves like a natural tooth root and forms the foundation for the placement of crowns, permanent dentures, snap-on dentures and bridges.
In this article, we will discuss in-depth about dental implant solutions for missing teeth, so keep reading ahead.
Replacing a single tooth
If you have a single missing tooth and wish to get it replaced, then a dental implant solution is just for you.
The dentist will first perform a complete oral examination to determine the quality of the bone and the best suited dental implant option for you. Then the dentist will also take some x-rays to help with the treatment protocol.
Next, will be discussed your options and get started with the treatment.
When you come in for your dental implant surgery the dentist will first use a local anaesthetic to numb the intended area and ensure you are pain-free and comfortable during the entire process.
Next, an incision will be placed in the intended area to reach the bone.
Specific implant drills are used to create space for the implants. The implant is secured to this space, and the incision is closed with the help of sutures.
The implant is left in place for a period of 3-6 months and monitored to ensure proper osseointegration is taking place. It is vital you practice good oral hygiene during this phase to prevent any oral infections. Once the implant is firm, a dental crown is fixed to the implant, and your treatment is complete. You can now be free of any worries and smile to your heart’s content.
If you have more than one missing tooth in different areas, multiple implants will be placed. However, if your missing teeth are in a row, then the dentist may suggest a dental implant-supported bridge.
Dental implant-supported bridge
A dental implant-supported bridge also follows a similar protocol. However, instead of placing one implant for every missing tooth, 2 or 3 implants are placed in strategic locations, and a fixed permanent bridge is placed over them on a later date.
Dental implant-supported dentures
Missing all your teeth and want a confortable solution?
Well, there are also the dental implant-supported dentures. Commonly called All-on-4 / All-on-6, 4 / 6 implants are placed precisely in the upper and lower jaw. These are allowed to heal, and a specialised denture is fabricated with a locking system that can tightly fit over the implants.
You can remove the denture if you want for cleaning and when you sleep. The interlocking system provides your dentures with extra stability and ensures the dentures are never dislodged. Unlike removable dentures, dental implant-supported dentures restore complete chewing forces meaning you can eat whatever you want without worry.
Immediate dental implants
Don’t wish to go for months without teeth?
Well, you can opt for immediate loading dental implants. The dentist extracts the intended damaged teeth and places a dental implant on the same day. A temporary crown or denture will also be placed on the same day to ensure you don’t have to go a single day without teeth. After 3-6 months, once the implant heals, a permanent prosthesis will be fabricated and placed.
In some cases, if you have less bone, additional procedures may be required to place an implant. Dental implant placement mandates certain bone width to ensure a successful placement. A sinus lift procedure or bone grafting procedure may be advised in such cases.
Benefits of dental implants
If you are still wondering why you should opt for dental implants over removable prostheses this section should provide you with the needed clarity.
- Dental implants offer you a confortable teeth replacement solution.
- Once healed, you can very well forget about them as they feel just like a natural tooth.
- They look beautiful and natural and have a high aesthetic value.
- They will stop the process of bone resorption as they stimulate the jawbone. This way, they prevent bone loss and ensure your facial proportions remain unchanged, and you go through the years with grace.
- A complete smile reduces the appearance of wrinkles and gives you a youthful appearance.
- Dental implants can sustain heavy chewing forces as well as natural teeth. This means you can eat whatever you want and do not have to give up on your favourite foods.
- Dental implants restore speech and do not alter it.
- Dental implants are easy to maintain once integrated. All you need to do is brush as you would normally do, brush and floss every day.
If you have not yet received an answer to your questions about removable prosthesis, do not hesitate to ask us any question in the section below, we will answer as soon as possible. If you find this article useful, we invite you to leave us a comment in the comments section.