This section is for people who want to know more about replacing missing teeth. Replacing missing teeth can radically improve a person’s smile and the shape of their face. As well as boosting self-esteem, there are important dental health benefits too. This section describes some options for replacing missing teeth.
Having gaps where teeth are missing affects the way the rest of the teeth bite together. The remaining teeth may tilt and drift into the gaps, and food can be trapped in the spaces, increasing the risk of decay and gum disease. All of this shifting, drifting and wear will lead to changes in the bite and potentially, further tooth loss. The remaining dentition, with fewer teeth, is more susceptible to excessive functional stresses and tooth wear. Furthermore, the jawbone tends to atrophy or, ‘shrink’, as a result of tooth loss. Ultimately, your ability to chew comfortably and your appearance may be affected.
There are usually three options:
- Removable partial dentures / complete dentures – removable plastic or metal plates carrying artificial teeth.
- Fixed bridges – artificial teeth cemented onto adjacent natural teeth.
- Implants– metal “pegs” attached to the jawbone, with dentures or bridges clipped or screwed on top.
A Fixed Dental Bridge
Having a bridge is like having three crowns. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared for crowns, an impression is made, and is sent to a dental laboratory. The laboratory then makes the crowns and fastens a false tooth between the two crowns – this is a bridge.
The advantages of a bridge are that it is fixed, stable, and feels like your own teeth. In most cases it can be made to look just like you never had a tooth missing.
The disadvantage is that you have to shape two teeth besides the one that was extracted – these teeth may otherwise be perfectly sound with nothing wrong and also some times when there is no tooth behind extracted tooth or if the supporting teeth are weak ……Bridge can not be done.
Cases in which a missing teeth has been replaced with a bridge.
1) Back Teeth Replaced With Bridge.
2) Front Teeth Replaced With Bridge.
The advantages of the removable appliance are that it is a more economical way to replace missing teeth than a fixed bridge. Also, you can replace multiple teeth with one appliance. If the span of missing teeth is three or more, or if there are not solid teeth on both sides of the missing teeth, a fixed bridge may not work.
The disadvantages are that it may not be as aesthetic as a bridge. Also, there may be some discomfort with wearing removable appliance in your mouth, and it is not as stable as a bridge.It may cause some limitation in food intake like Hard and sticky food can not be chewed comfortably.