Missing teeth can have a terrible impact on the way we look and function. A tooth missing for only a few months can cause the neighbouring teeth to drift, bone support to be lost, and damage to the surrounding teeth as they have to absorb more force than nature designed them for. Of course, missing teeth are also unattractive and can affect our speech as well.
Fortunately, dentistry has several ways to replace missing teeth to restore your oral health. The three fundamental tooth replacement options are described below:
- Implants – Implants look and feel like your natural teeth. Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture. Integration of the implants into your jaw also helps your replacement teeth feel more stable and some people also find the secure fit more comfortable than conventional substitutes.
- Bridge (Fixed Partial Denture) – a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. The restoration can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist.
- Partial (Removable Partial Denture) – Partials are removable appliances that replace one or several missing teeth. They are held in place by clasps that are placed around your existing teeth. Partial dentures are removable and can be taken out of the mouth for cleaning. Although removable partials are generally less expensive, a fixed bridge or implant may feel more secure and comfortable.
If you have additional questions about which tooth replacement option is right for you, please call our office at Beckley Office Phone Number 304-252-4141. We will be happy to set up a consultation with Dr. Williams to discuss your individual tooth replacement options.