If an individual has missing teeth, then it is likely that they miss them. It isn’t until someone has lost teeth of their own, do they really begin to recognise how important having a strong set of teeth and healthy gums really is.
The mouth is an important part of an individual’s entire wellbeing. If a person is unable to chew food correctly, then they may begin to experience digestive issues. There are links between gum disease and heart disease that researchers are aware of yet cannot quite explain, as with missing teeth and mental health.
By caring for a smile from the beginning, a patient and their oral healthcare professional can work together on maintaining the health of a smile, by addressing issues that are cause for concern throughout their lifetime. Should one of those issues be replacing missing teeth, then there are several options that allow the patient to regain full functionality of their smile again.
What are some of these options?
A dentist will talk through the options that are best designed for their patient’s personal situation, giving them a run through of the advantages and potential disadvantages of each option that is available.
These options include bridges, dentures and dental implants. It is important to understand why some options are more suitable than others in certain situations, so that one can be fully informed when making a decision on how best to replace missing teeth.
A bridge is usually permanently attached to surrounding teeth, so therefore is restricted to a few teeth in certain positions for optimal stability. This is a great option for those people who may have issues with their jaw and it is advisable that they do not consider more long-lasting options.
Dentures are a popular choice for many, as they are affordable and manageable. However, there are some long-term negative impacts that dentures have on the strength of the jaw, namely that it does not stimulate the bone enough to regenerate and grow.
Over time, patients may experience premature ageing as the cheeks begin to draw inwards and the face can droop. Dentures may also begin to slide around in the mouth causing embarrassment or pain. Individuals sometimes need to have them refitted so that they can experience that quality of life that they deserve.
Dental implants are unfortunately the most expensive of the three options available, however they will last for several decades, meaning that patients do not need to often think about replacements or refittings. A minor surgical procedure is needed, so one must be well enough to undergo this surgery.
Simply, a titanium metal rod is inserted directly into the jawbone and either a full denture, a bridge or a single tooth is attached to the rod for a permanent and comfortable tooth replacement solution.
The titanium will fuse with the jawbone, creating a lasting and stable site on which new teeth can be attached securely. This is usually the preferred choice available, however again, one must fit strict criteria in order to be suitable for the procedure.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second
opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.