Missing teeth are uncomfortable and unsightly and can negatively impact your overall health and quality of life. If you have lost one or more teeth, you are not alone. More than 45 million people in the U.S. have lost at least one permanent tooth. If you have missing teeth, your Leander, TX orthodontist has several teeth replacement options.
Traditional dentures are made from acrylic and metal. They are custom-made to fit your mouth, but traditional dentures can be uncomfortable and may not always be easy to wear. Sometimes, they require daily cleaning and adjustment. If you have diabetes or another medical condition affecting your gums’ skin, traditional dentures may not be right for you.
Porcelain Veneer Dentures
Porcelain veneer dentures are more durable than traditional ones and look more natural than partial ones. Porcelain veneer dentures are made by taking an impression of your mouth, making a wax mold of the mouth, pouring liquid porcelain into the mold at high temperatures, and then polishing it until it is smooth. Porcelain veneer dentures are usually held in place by metal clasps on the side of each tooth that snap onto small posts that go into the gums just behind each tooth in your smile line.
A dental bridge is made of porcelain or metal and covers the gap left by one or more missing teeth. The dentist attaches the artificial teeth to surrounding teeth on either side by using crowns (caps). The crowns replace two or three adjacent teeth on each side of the gap, giving the impression of a complete smile when viewed from the front. A bridge may be recommended if you have adequate bone in your jaw but not enough room between your existing teeth for an implant or partial denture to fit comfortably and securely.
An implant is a metal post surgically placed in your jawbone where the tooth is missing. A tooth-like crown is attached to the implant, which looks and feels like your natural tooth. Implants are more expensive than bridges or dentures, but they provide a permanent solution with superior support for replacement teeth.
A flipper is a removable appliance that fits over your upper arch and provides a visible tooth replacement for one or more missing teeth. Flippers often cover only one side of your mouth and are rarely used to replace all the teeth in one arch. You can use dentures with a flipper to improve your speech and chewing ability if you wear dentures. But if you have no remaining natural teeth, then a fixed bridge may be more appropriate for you.
Why replace missing teeth?
In addition to improving your smile, dental implant restorations offer the following benefits:
Improved speech: Dental implants can help restore lost function and improve speech. Missing teeth often affect how one talks because they are needed to anchor other teeth in place. Without these anchors, other teeth can shift out of position, making it difficult to pronounce certain words correctly.
Better chewing ability: Missing teeth are often associated with difficulty chewing certain foods or an inability to chew. Tooth loss can cause jawbone muscles to shrink, making chewing more difficult. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants allows you to chew more comfortably again.
Healthier gums: Gum disease is common when there are gaps between your remaining natural teeth and missing ones that never receive proper cleaning. Gaps between teeth allow food particles and bacteria to build up beneath them, eventually leading to gum disease if not taken care of properly.
Replacing missing teeth can improve oral health by preventing further tooth decay and loss. You will be less likely to develop gum disease and tooth loss, which can lead to bone loss and other complications. Also, there are a variety of missing tooth replacement options. Contact Pendleton Orthodontics professionals to help you choose the right choice for you.