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Tooth Replacement Options
Do you need a tooth replacement? You have lots of options to get one or more teeth replaced. It is wise to go over each option to determine the right choice for your smile. Discover your options and then talk to your dentist.
Common tooth replacement options
It is important to replace missing teeth. If the gap left by the teeth is not filled, the other teeth will shift. This causes alignment issues. Missing teeth also make it difficult to eat and talk. Here are the most common options for replacing missing teeth.
Implants are a popular option for replacing a tooth. Implants are placed in the jawbone and act as the tooth’s roots. The bone fuses around the implant, creating an anchor to hold a replacement tooth. After the implant is placed, patients come in for a second time, so the dentist can attach the abutment. A crown, bridge or dentures are placed on top of the abutment to act as the natural tooth.
Implants stimulate bone growth and are similar to natural teeth. The natural teeth are not affected by implant placement, and this restoration can last for decades. The placement process does take longer than other tooth replacement options. Also, patients must visit the dentist several times to get implants and crowns.
People who have one or more missing teeth can get a fixed bridge. Dentists begin by preparing the teeth that are located on both sides of the gap. Dentists take impressions to send to a dental lab and place a temporary bridge to protect the teeth. A lab technician fabricates a bridge from the impression. Then patients go back to the dentist to have the bridge cemented in place. Bridges are made of at least one crown but can contain more if additional teeth need to be replaced.
Fixed bridges resemble and feel like natural teeth. The bridges do not have to be removed and can be brushed and flossed like real teeth. However, patients might need to spend additional time cleaning under the crown. Also, the teeth next to a fixed bridge can be affected by the placement.
Removable partial dentures
Patients can also get removable partial dentures to replace missing teeth. Dentures usually have a gum-colored plastic base and clasps used to attach to the teeth. Removable partial dentures are fabricated to fit the holes left by the missing teeth. The dentures sit on the gums and are taken out for cleaning.
Many people like removable partial dentures since they are typically more affordable than other tooth replacement options. It is also easy to repair removable partial dentures. However, the dentures are less stable than other options, making it difficult to eat and speak. Removable partial dentures also do not look as natural as implants with crowns or fixed bridges.
Choosing a replacement option
If you have lost one or more teeth, you should get a replacement as soon as possible. Choose from implants with crowns, fixed bridges and removable partial dentures. Your dentist will help you choose the option that makes sense for you. Then you can move forward with the procedure.
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