Options to Replace Missing Teeth

February 14, 2020

Types of tooth replacement

If you’re missing one or more teeth or have teeth that are damaged and need to be removed, consider your options to replace missing teeth. Not only do missing teeth affect your confidence, they also affect your overall oral health.

Missing teeth that are not replaced can cause loss of function when chewing and speaking. In addition, missing teeth can lead to the shifting and drifting of remaining teeth. Examples include, teeth above the space could shift down and adjacent teeth could move into the empty space. Bone loss occurs in the area of missing teeth, resulting in your remaining teeth changing position over time. At Govani Dental, we offer both removable and fixed services to replace missing teeth.

Removable partial dentures

For those who are missing teeth, a removable partial denture may be a good option. A removable partial denture has a natural appearance. It consists of replacement teeth that are attached to a gum-colored plastic base. The plastic base may cover a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. These are worn during the day and removed while sleeping or for cleanings.

A partial denture looks great and prevents teeth from drifting. However, people may experience loss of chewing function. It also can be difficult to adapt too because it is not fixed into place. Adjustments are common and follow up dental appointments may be required based on your comfort level.

Advantages of removable prosthesis include less expense than other replacement options. In addition, they can be easier to repair and prevent natural teeth from drifting.

Disadvantages include they can be uncomfortable due to bulky plastic in the mouth and prevent taste in regions covering soft tissue. Moreover, they can have movement and be less stable than other replacement options. Removable partials run the risk of having teeth become broken or the actual prosthesis can be lost. Patients can suffer embarrassment due to having to be removed at night or for cleanings.

Fixed bridge

The space with missing teeth is then replaced with a bridge tooth and bonded or cemented into place. This option to replace missing teeth requires the teeth in front of and behind the bridge be crowned. A bridge is extremely natural in appearance and feel and functions like natural teeth. Fixed bridges are a more permanent solution, however, and may need to be replaced or re-cemented due to normal wear over lifetime.

Advantages of a fixed bridge are it is fixed and doesn’t come out. Therefore, there is less risk of embarrassment of losing or removing the prosthesis. Bridgework fills the space of missing teeth, prevents natural teeth from drifting, allows for a more natural smile and restores function. Disadvantages of a fixed bridge are there is more cost. Adjacent teeth must be compromised to fabricate the bridge. Having fixed dental work requires more extra effort to clean, patients need to be highly committed to oral hygiene. 

 

Dental implants

Implants are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw by our trusted specialist. They are made up of titanium, a strong lightweight metal, and other safe materials. Dental implants have a natural appearance and function like a natural tooth. They are also durable, stable and last much longer than other tooth replacement options when taken care of properly.

Generally, the process for dental implants is longer and may require more frequent visits to the dentist. In addition, patients must be committed to a daily oral care routine and dental health visits. While implants provide a stable replacement option for many, they are not right for everyone. Patients must be in good overall health, have adequate bone support or be able to have surgery to build up the area needing the implant.

Advantages of dental  implants are they best resembles the look and function of a natural tooth and reduce risk of bone loss. Nearby teeth are not affected by the procedure. Additionally, implants have a high success rate and are long lasting. Disadvantages of implants are they take longer to complete and require long term commitment to dental health visits. Implant cost may be more on the front end, but long term less costly repairs are needed. Patients need to be committed to maintenance to ensure the best outcome of their treatment.

How to properly care for tooth replacement options

Keeping up with good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly is crucial in prolonging the lifespan of any tooth replacement option. However, caring for each may be different. Let’s take a look on how to properly care for removable partial dentures, fixed bridges and implants.

Removable Partial Denture

  • Remove every night and during cleanings
  • Rinse denture under warm water after each meal
  • Brush twice daily using a soft-bristle brush with soap and warm water
  • Use cleaning tablets with water and soak denture nightly
  • When cleaning, stand over a folded towel or a sink of water to avoid dropping the denture

Fixed bridges

  • Brush twice a day and floss daily
  • Use an interproximal brush to get under the added tooth
  • Implement an antiseptic mouthwash daily
  • Utilize an oral irrigator (water flosser)
  • Avoid chewing on hard foods or ice

Implants

  • Brush twice a day and floss daily
  • Use non-abrasive toothpaste and mouth wash
  • Implement an oral water flosser on low setting, away from the base of the implant
  • Utilize a mouth guard to prevent trauma to implant from grinding and clenching

Changing smiles and building confidence

These options to replace missing teeth can give you a new confidence in your smile that will last a lifetime. If you are considering having a tooth replaced, Dr. Govani would love to evaluate you to see what option would work best for you. Govani Dental in Oshkosh specializes in these replacement options and will work with you to get your confidence back. If you have questions regarding types of tooth replacement or would like to schedule a consultation, call the office at 920-231-1955.

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If you’re interested in becoming a Govani Dental patient, schedule your appointment online or by calling 920-231-1955.

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