What Are Your Options for Replacing Missing Teeth?

What Are Your Options for Replacing Missing Teeth?

Apr 01, 2021

The problem of missing teeth is a standard occurrence among many adults who begin to confront various issues. If you have lost one or several teeth, you may become less confident with your smile besides facing challenges speaking and eating some types of foods. The issues you confront make it clear that you must seek replacements for your missing teeth.

Currently, you have numerous options available to replace missing teeth. If you want, you can have dental implants or dental bridges. However, if you don’t want to undergo invasive procedures, you can rely on dentures to appropriately restore your appearance and smile with natural-looking artificial teeth.

What Variety of Dentures Can You Have?

If you have lost all your teeth or just had them extracted, you can consider full dentures made from a gum-colored plastic base replicating your gum tissue and supporting a full set of plastic or porcelain teeth. Complete dentures are held in your mouth by creating a seal with your gums. Keeping them in your mouth with dental implants is also possible, but the treatment is expensive than the traditional full denture.

If you are undergoing complete teeth extractions, you can discuss with the dental service about having immediate dentures in your mouth to ensure you don’t display huge gaps when smiling. Immediate dentures are created before extracting your teeth and placed over your gums immediately after tooth removal. However, they are temporary placements and require frequent adjustments. Therefore it will help if you consider carefully and discuss with your dentist about having them before you undergo tooth extraction.

If you have lost a few teeth but have natural teeth remaining in your mouth, you can consider having partial dentures developed with a plastic base or a metal framework supporting the number of teeth that need replacements. Partial dentures are held in your mouth using clasps carefully adapted around your natural teeth. Partial dentures with metal frameworks are the traditional variety because of the rigidity and strength of the metal.

How Are Dentures Fabricated?

After you lose a tooth or have one extracted, the tooth socket fills with bone and gum tissue which heals and changes shape. The process requires a few months until the gums and bone reach stability. After this period, a complete denture is fabricated, preferably about eight to 12 weeks after you lost your teeth or had them extracted.

Dental service begins the procedure by taking a series of molds of the oral tissues that support the denture. The dental lab uses the molds to make models of your mouth. The lab technician works with your dentist to gradually start building the dentures on these molds and transfer them into your mouth at every step to ensure they establish a proper fit and bite.

You must visit the dentist every week until four to five weeks, the time required for the lab to create your denture. During the first month after you have the denture, you must occasionally return to the dentist for adjustments.

Immediate dentures are fabricated before removing the natural teeth to ensure you have something to wear on the same day. Immediate dentures don’t fit the bone and gum tissue as perfectly as a traditional denture. It requires more adjustments as you heal. Therefore immediate dentures are best used as a temporary device until you can have a conventional denture after the bone and gum healing is complete.

Are There Any Alternatives to Dentures?

As mentioned earlier, you can consider dental implants or bridges to replace your missing teeth.

A dental bridge replaces missing teeth by attaching crowns on the adjacent teeth next to the gap and fixing a fake tooth called pontic in between the two crowns. Bridges are made from gold, porcelain fused to metal all, all-porcelain, or all-zirconium. Bridges are only beneficial to replace two to three missing teeth in a row, depending on the location. As bridges are bonded in place, they are considered fixed or permanent dentures.

If you want natural-looking artificial teeth, you can have dental implants inserted into your jawbone in the upper or lower jaw to replace the natural tooth root. The titanium post inserted into the jawbone receives a dental crown eventually to function as your artificial teeth. You can have as many implants as you desire because they stimulate the natural teeth better than other options. However, you must prepare yourself for an extensive procedure with considerable expenses.

Suppose you cannot consider the alternatives because of the invasive nature or expenses. In that case, you can always rely on the time-tested dentures that still retain their credibility as a reliable option for replacing missing teeth.

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