Missing Teeth & Replacements
Options For Missing Teeth
Patients with missing teeth are put through an in-depth examination before a set of options are laid out in front of them.
These options are all-inclusive, robust, and use modern techniques to ensure everything is seamless. Before making a choice and deciding between these options, it’s best to understand what each one offers and the benefits of choosing wisely.
This read will offer insight into the five major options a patient will have for his/her missing teeth.
1) Leave It Alone
Yes, this is an option and is available to patients with missing teeth.
Some people prefer going with a gap in their teeth and don’t mind avoiding an additional investment in fixing the issue. However, there is research that indicates missing teeth over a prolonged period can be a detriment to one’s health and biting strength.
The jaw bone can start to weaken and this can lead to the remaining teeth shifting to cover for the missing teeth. It also puts stress on the jaw bone in the area and can lead to long-term pain/discomfort.
In general, this option also saves one from toxic treatments (in the wrong hands) and is one way to go about handling the missing teeth.
This is a traditional method and has been around for a long time.
The premise behind bridgework is to set up posts on either side of the gap as anchors. This lets the dental professional set up a fixed bridge between them and put in a replacement tooth. While this can lead to issues with chewing (decreased biting strength) and may make it difficult to floss, a person will know his/her jaw bone is going to stay safe. If that is the desired goal then bridgework can help out in eradicating some of the underlying long-term concerns.
This is a technique used where a post is drilled into the jaw bone before a replacement tooth is put in.
This is a good way to regain one’s teeth and feel safe while biting down. However, it is important to remember this technique is costly and can be tough on the budget.
4) Composite Bridgework
This is not the same as traditional bridgework and shouldn’t be put in the same category.
Composite bridgework looks at using composite resin materials for the bridge. This means the natural teeth on either side of the gap will not be ground down to a post. Instead, the resin material is going to be used to help out. If the bridge doesn’t work, it is easier to remove it and still have functional teeth.
5) Removable Bridge
A removable bridge is exactly like it sounds.
The piece or “flipper” can be put in or out as one chooses. The idea is to make sure less pressure is being put on the jaw bone as one chews down. However, this also comes with concerns about usability and how hard it is to keep it in place as it can become uncomfortable.
These options are the top five choices for patients with missing teeth.