Unfortunately adult tooth loss affects many Americans, and it can cause problems for not only a person’s confidence, but also for his or her ability to speak and chew comfortably. Luckily, there are a number of ways a dentist can help complete a smile after tooth loss, each with benefits and some drawbacks. Understanding each of the options can help you determine the best solution for your smile, whether that be partial or full dentures, dental implants or bridgework.
Partial and Full Dentures Can Complete Smiles
Modern dentures are made to be both comfortable and esthetically pleasing. They’re so carefully crafted to match your teeth’s natural tone and shape, that they should blend right in with your smile. Many dentures can even rest in place without the use of any adhesives, though adhesives can be used to further secure them in place.
Dental Bridges Offer Sturdy Restoration
A dental bridge is a beautiful and dependable way to complete a smile after tooth loss. Most bridges use crowns, either completely or in conjunction with metal, to hold the restoration in place. Unlike partial dentures, many patients find a bridge a more comfortable and secure form of completing a smile after tooth loss.
Dental Implants Can Increase Confidence
Dental implants are generally considered the most stable and permanent option for tooth replacement. As such, they are also the most expensive. For many patients, though, dental implants are the ideal way to deal with the loss of a tooth. Implants use a titanium post to hold a fake tooth, partial denture or dental crown in place. After the post has been surgically inserted, your gum tissue will grow around the post, creating a stable base for the cosmetic replacement tooth, which is then secured to the post through an abutment.
Other Factors to Consider
- A consultation with your dentist can help determine which form of restoration will be most suitable based on the location of your missing tooth or teeth, and the specifics of your smile as well as your budgetary concerns.
- If you’ve lost a tooth, don’t delay treatment, as leaving a gap can cause alignment issues for your remaining teeth and even your jawbone.
- Be sure to ask about how to care for your restorative treatment. While porcelain can be cared for the same way as your natural teeth, some restorations are more sensitive and require specialty cleaners to preserve them.