There are so many dental conditions that could lead to tooth loss. From simple tooth decay, to periodontal disease, to injuries, losing a tooth can be a very daunting experience. Not only is a missing tooth bad for the aesthetic value of your smile, but it can also pose problems in eating and speaking. Fortunately, modern dentistry has devised a lot of tooth replacement procedures.
Dental implants are artificial roots that are drilled into the patient’s jaw in order to replace the tooth that has been lost. During the surgical procedure, a metal post is inserted in the bone deep under the patient’s gums and then a crown is placed on the top portion of this post to replace the missing tooth. If more than one tooth is missing, individual implants can be attached to each other with the help of bridges or dentures.
The main advantage of going with dental implants is that they look and function more like real teeth. At the same time, they do not have to affect the adjacent teeth, like bridges do, because each dental implant is anchored into the jaw bone and not held by its neighboring teeth. But dental implants are not suitable for every patient; a person has to have healthy jaw bone and gums, and be in a very healthy state before being cleared to receive dental implants.
If you’re extremely scared of the drill, or your gums are not strong enough to hold dental implants, your next option is to use dental bridges. Dental bridges do exactly what its name suggest—bridge the gap that a missing tooth has made. The bridge will be bonded to the adjacent teeth to cover up the missing tooth.
There are two types of bridges that patients can choose from – removable bridges and implanted bridges. The former can easily be removed, cleaned and then put back in. On the other hand, the latter type of bridges is attached to implants.
Dentures are suitable for individuals who have lost a good number of their teeth. Complete dentures are made for people who no longer have any teeth left, while overdentures are for people who still have a few natural teeth, since overdentures must be supported by true teeth or dental implants.