Teeth are important. A healthy set of teeth not only helps you show off a fantastic smile, but it also helps you maintain good overall health. The absence of a tooth or multiple teeth can make common tasks such as chewing and speaking much more difficult.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reports that 92 percent of adults between the ages of 20-64 suffer from tooth decay. Similarly, the amount of individuals who suffer from missing teeth is a rather large number as well. Fortunately, with today's dental advancements, there are a number of solutions.
Options available for those who have missing teeth
A dental implant is a surgical procedure in which a replacement tooth root is placed and fused with the jawbone.
While dental implants work well when replacing a single tooth, they may not be the best option for multiple teeth replacement. That said, dental implants provide the look and feel of natural teeth and can last for years, if not decades, without needing to be repaired or replaced.
However, since a dental implant requires surgery and typically cost more than bridges or dentures, they aren’t right for everyone.
Quite simply, a fixed bridge bridges the gap between one or more missing teeth.
The process of implementing a fixed bridge usually involves multiple trips to the dentist, as the process of placing the implant, customizing the bridge and placing the bridge in the location of the missing teeth takes time.
Once the bridge is in place, however, a fixed dental bridge looks, feels and functions like natural teeth, does not require removal for cleaning and is typically much more cost effective than a dental tooth implant.
A resin-retained bridge is often much less invasive than a fixed bridge.
While a fixed bridge is best for teeth that are relied upon for chewing, a resin-retained bridge can be a good alternative for missing front teeth, which typically don’t endure as much pressure.
A resin-retained bridge attaches onto the neighboring teeth on each side. Although they are known for being less durable than a fixed bridge, they also tend to be much less expensive.
Removable partial denture
A removable partial denture consists of replacement teeth for a small section of missing teeth and look and function as normal.
While a removable partial denture is great for chewing and aesthetic appeal, they are far less durable than a tooth implant or bridge and can become uncomfortable when worn for an extended amount of time.
But they are typically the least expensive tooth replacement option available and are easy to repair if any damage occurs.
Removable complete denture
Depending on how many teeth you currently have, removable complete dentures can be fairly invasive and require multiple trips to the dentist.
Unlike a removable partial denture, where only a section of missing teeth is replaced, a removable complete denture is used to replace most, if not all, teeth.
While a removable complete denture is both aesthetic and functional, they can be uncomfortable and aren’t to be worn for 24 hours a day.
Consult your dentist to find the best option for you
If you’re looking for a way to replace missing teeth, be sure to consult your dentist before making your final decision.
All five options presented are reliable and work well for replacing missing teeth, but discussing the options with a professional is the only way to ensure you get the specific treatment you need.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Jenny Chen Pediatric and Family Dentistry, request an appointment in our West Grove dental office here: https://www.smilesinpa.com. Or call us at (610) 400-1588.
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