Loss of a tooth is one of the most common dental problems. This article provides some information about the different options that are available for tooth replacement, in the cases of single or multiple tooth loss.
Tooth loss is a major dental problem that can affect an individual’s personality and confidence. Missing teeth especially a front tooth, can hamper the appearance of a person and can make the person conscious about his/her smile. There are various reasons for tooth loss like a periodontal disease, an injury, aging, etc. However, with advanced development in the field of dental science, a missing tooth is no longer a cause of embarrassment. The best way to overcome this problem is by replacing the tooth. Nowadays there are various single, multiple, front tooth replacement options available that can help restore the healthy look of one’s teeth, as well as prevent the teeth from having any other dental problem due to a missing or broken teeth.
Types of Replacement
The four basic multiple or single tooth replacement options include dental implant, fixed bridge, bonded bridge, and removable appliances that can surely fix a missing tooth or teeth.
Dental Implants: This is one of the most preferred options for replacing a missing tooth. The individual undergoing this treatment needs to have a strong bone and soft tissue to hold the implant which is made of pure titanium. In a dental implant procedure, a screw made of an appropriate surface material (which helps it to fix in the bone) is implanted in the jawbone at the location of the missing tooth. After healing which usually takes three months or so, a cap or crown is attached to the screw. If done correctly, i.e. by a professional periodontist and with proper dental care by the individual, the implant can even last a lifetime. Since the implant is attached to the gum tissues and the underlying bone in the mouth, and not with the adjacent teeth, there are minimal chances of having other dental problems due to a dental implant.
Fixed Bridges: A fixed bridge is the next choice after dental implant for tooth replacement. It is a permanent restoration technique wherein the enamel of the adjacent teeth is drilled to take impressions and to construct a permanent bridge across the location where the tooth is missing. This option is best for those who do not have enough bone and soft tissue, or have loose adjacent teeth as the bridge connects all these teeth together and gives it better strength. One of its major advantages over dental implant is that it is performed faster and doesn’t require any surgical procedures.
Bonded Bridges: Also termed as acid-etched bridge, is a temporary tooth restoration method that may last somewhere between one to ten years of time. After taking an impression of the adjacent teeth, the bridge is formed on the lingual or palatal side (the side that touches the palate or tongue) of the teeth. However, the only disadvantage is that after a certain period of time these bonded bridges would de-bond and some dental work has to done to replace or re-bond them.
Removable Appliance: Of all other options, a removable appliance is the most economical option and has an advantage of replacing multiple teeth with just one appliance. One of the most basic removable appliances is the budget flipper which is nothing but a piece of plastic, having a false tooth connected to a metal and acrylic removable partial denture. The only drawback of a removable appliance is that it contains clasps which are difficult to hide and at times wearing it can be uncomfortable for other teeth.
To sum up, we can say that there are advantages and disadvantages to each of these replacement options. Hence, before opting for any of the aforementioned options it is essential that one consults the dentist regarding the bone quantity, the number of healthy adjacent teeth, one’s overall medical health, age, and financial capabilities, and then decide which option would suit the best.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.