When teeth are missing, it not only affects your appearance but makes it difficult to chew and speak. Teeth work together and when one or more are lost, the nearby teeth tend to tip and drift into the missing space.
This can cause:
• decay on the surrounding teeth
• loss of bone affecting lip and cheek support
• stress on the jaw joints and the surrounding teeth
• more teeth being lost
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Fixed and Removable Bridges
A fixed bridge is a restoration that replaces a missing tooth or teeth by connecting the teeth on each side of the space. This bridge is permanently cemented or bonded into place.
Removable bridges can replace as few as one tooth or many teeth. They are generally the least expensive option. The replacement teeth are attached to gum-colored acrylic which is supported on a metal framework. This bridge is removable, as the name implies, so it can be easily cleaned.
Advantages of fixed bridges:
- it will look, feel and function like your natural teeth
- it does not need to be removed from the mouth
Disadvantages of fixed bridges:
- the adjacent teeth are affected
- usually is more expensive than a removable bridge
Advantages of removable bridges:
- usually less expensive than other options
- easy to repair
Disadvantages of removable bridges:
- they can be less stable than other options
- some people find them uncomfortable to wear
- they can break or can be lost
- they are removable
A dental implant is a titanium post inserted beneath the gum and into the bone. A replacement crown is then placed on the post designed to look and feel just like your own tooth. Dental implants can also be used to anchor dentures.
Implants are not an option for everyone. Patients have to have adequate bone to support the implant, be good candidates for surgery and in good overall health.
Advantages of implants:
- they are the most similar to natural teeth
- no other teeth need to be involved
- they may help prevent or decrease the loss of bone
Disadvantages of implants:
- not everyone is a candidate
- they take longer to place and may require more dental visits
Dentures are a replacement for all the natural teeth.
Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance, your ability to eat and your ability to speak.
A complete denture not only replaces the natural teeth but it provides support for the cheeks and lips. Without this support, the muscles of the face tend to sag, making a person appear older.