When it comes to replacing missing teeth, there are a few options a patient may have based on their situation. Here, our Okotoks dentists explain the benefit of replacing missing teeth and the differences between the replacement options.
Do I really need to replace my missing teeth?
When teeth are missing, they can cause a variety of oral health problems if left untreated. Missing teeth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift out of position, can cause difficulty with speaking and chewing, and can even lead to a decrease in jaw bone density. This is why our Okotoks dentists recommend replacing missing teeth to help preserve your oral health.
Replacement Options for Missing Teeth
When you come for a consultation to replace missing teeth, your dentist will go over the following tooth replacement options with you and assist you in selecting the one that best meets your needs and fits within your financial budget.
Dentures are removable tooth replacements. Modern dentures are extremely natural-looking, comfortable, and highly functional, and they are the least expensive option for replacing missing teeth in most cases. Dentures require specific care and must be removed and cleaned regularly.
Depending on your requirements, you can choose between two different types of dentures. Full dentures are designed to replace all of the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw. Partial dentures can be used to replace a single missing tooth or a group of teeth in a row. Based on the impressions taken of your mouth, your dentures will be made specifically for you.
A dental bridge is a fixed tooth replacement that is attached to the teeth or dental implants on either side of the gap where the tooth is missing. Dental bridges are non-removable, resulting in a secure and comfortable fit for the patient. Following its installation, your dental bridge will last for many years before it needs to be replaced.
Dental implants are small titanium posts that act as artificial tooth roots and are surgically implanted into the jawbone to restore tooth function. A dental crown is placed on top of the tooth to complete the restoration.
The dental implant and crown combination has the appearance, feel, and function of a natural tooth in almost every way. While implants tend to be more expensive and invasive than crowns or bridges, many people find that the natural look and feel they provide are worth the investment. When properly cared for, dentures can last for 25 years or more.