When a tooth is lost, it is highly recommended to replace it. Teeth aid in chewing, speaking and supporting facial muscles. When teeth are lost and not replaced, shifting, drifting or rotation of adjacent teeth occurs. Without a tooth root to support, bone starts to recede, along with the gum tissue. All of these changes impede chewing, and can affect speech as well as facial appearance.
Implants: A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, made from titanium, that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth, bridge, or denture.
Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. This secure fit helps the dentures, bridges, or individual crowns, placed over the implants feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures.
To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also commit to keeping these structures healthy. Good homecare and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Bridges: Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns on the teeth on either side of the gap, called abutments, and a false tooth, called a pontic, in between. Bridges can be supported by natural teeth or implants.
Virtually anyone who is missing one to three consecutive teeth is a candidate for a dental bridge. Supporting teeth for a bridge must be structurally sound and free from decay.
Partials: A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is sometimes connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth.
Partial dentures have several benefits. They can make it easier for you to chew food. They can also help you speak better if your speech has changed due to missing teeth. Removable partial dentures can also support cheeks and lips so the face does not sag.