Tooth replacement is one of the major dental woes several people find themselves vis-à-vis with. The need for teeth replacements can affect anyone, from young people who lose a tooth or two due to an injury or accident to old people whose teeth simply need replacement due to old age.
There are now many replacement options for missing teeth. All of them are effective, but also vary greatly in terms of what they entail. So far, the most common replacement procedures for teeth are as follows.
Different Tooth Replacement Options and When They’re Ideal
- Full or Partial Dentures
- Dental Implants
1. Full or Partial Dentures
Dentures remain one of the most common and most widely demanded tooth replacement options today. You can avail of full or partial dentures, which cover either the upper set or the lower set only, depending on how many teeth should be replaced. You can also choose from fixed dentures or removable dentures. With removable dentures, they need to be removed before sleeping and every time you are to clean it for proper maintenance. Fixed dentures are more comfortable because you can be sure there will be no mishaps regarding slipping dentures, which could be quite embarrassing.
Dentures are also plausible options for those who need to replace just one tooth. Single-tooth dentures are fitted with a set of clasps which is what attaches the dentures to the surrounding teeth. The problem for this option is that the surrounding teeth may be affected to the extent that they may suffer from damage. This makes dentures more ideal for full teeth replacements than for single tooth replacements.
However, due to the increase in the possible replacement options, the percentage of people who keep their dentures have fallen to just 20%, with the remaining 80% complaining of eventual unreliability so they become dissatisfied.
Bridges are gaining an upperhand in the tooth replacement industry. More and more dentists are developing a preferential attitude towards bridges as they start veering away from dentures.
Bridges, however, can be the opposite of dentures in some ways. While dentures are better for full replacement of all teeth, bridges are more ideal for replacement of single tooth only.
The procedure of installing the bridges into your mouth begins by grinding down the two neighboring teeth to form a bridge between them. Then, a crown is attached to the bridge and serves as the artificial tooth.
One problem about this procedure is that it is invasive in that it will affect the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. These two teeth has to be adjusted permanently so that the missing tooh could be replaced. This is also why bridges often only last for a decade, since the surrounding teeth may not be able to support the bridge for very long. Although success rates for bridges are quite high, the number of patients finding their way straight towards a root canal after they’d had bridges put on is in an upward climb.
3. Dental Implants
The third and most invasive procedure that is used to replace lost tooth or teeth is the dental implant. Dental implants are artificial teeth that are implanted into the gum and jawbone. They are made up of, first, a titanium post, which is what’s implanted through surgery, and a crown to cover the titanium post.
Dental implants require a surgical procedure, but they are feasible options for both single tooth and multiple teeth replacements.
The main advantage of dental implants is that they are the closest you can get to a natural tooth. Since they are implanted, you won’t have to get used to them or worry about them. You can forget about them as soon as they’re in. Other advantages are that dental implants last longer, with life spans of around 10 years, and they are also perfectly safe for the teeth around the missing tooth.
More and more dentists are now recommending dental implants to their patients as the ultimate replacement option, and prospects are looking pretty good with the increasing success rates.
Choosing the Most Appropriate Teeth Replacement Procedure
The most appropriate tooth replacement option may differ for each person. The best choice would depend on several factors, such as the person’s age, personal preference, comfort, cost, reason for the lost tooth/teeth, number of teeth that need to be replaced, and other special factors affecting individual circumstances.