If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be all too aware of their importance to your looks and dental health. Your teeth are designed to help you chew, speak and smile. When teeth are missing, it isn’t straightforward to do these things. Fortunately, missing teeth can be replaced.

The following are three options your dentist may suggest depending on your needs. Replacement teeth should last for years at a time, so it is important to choose a treatment that is right for you.

Implants

Many patients choose implants to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or to support a full set of dentures. Implants are small titanium screws that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw. They function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth.

Most patients find that an implant is secure and stable. However, implants are not an option for everyone. Because implants require surgery, patients should be in good health overall. Patients either must have adequate bone to support the implant or be able to have surgery to build up the area needing the implant.

Fixed Bridges

Another tooth replacement option is a fixed bridge. A fixed bridge is supported by the natural teeth around them or by implants to bridge gaps between missing teeth. Fixed bridges are bonded or cemented into place – only a dentist can remove it.

Two advantages of fixed bridges are that they look, feel and function like natural teeth as well as cost less than implants. However, some disadvantages are that they affect the teeth next to the bridge and may require extra effort to clean under the pontic.

Removable Partial Dentures

Removable partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. They consist of replacement teeth attached to a pink-coloured plastic base, which is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth.

These dentures are convenient and removable, which means you can take them out whenever you need to. Two additional benefits of removable partial dentures are that they are usually less expensive than fixed bridges or implants and are easier to repair than fixed bridges. However, some disadvantages are that they can be uncomfortable, break or become lost and may need more frequent replacement than the other options.

In the end, you should talk to your dentist. Your dentist can answer your questions and help you decide which option will work best for you. Contact us to learn more, or to schedule your visit now.

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