If you have a missing tooth, then it can cause a number of different issues. For example, not only can a missing tooth make your smile appear less attractive, but it can also negatively affect your oral health. According to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), about 92% of adults suffer from some form of tooth decay. This can lead to missing teeth. The good news is that there are many options available to replace your missing teeth.
Dental implants are gaining in popularity as a way to replace a missing tooth. The implant can replace one or more teeth. To place the implant, the dentist will make an incision in the patient’s gum so that the bone of the jaw will be exposed. The dentist will then be able to drill down into the patient’s jawbone to place the base of the implant. This is a titanium screw that the jawbone will eventually grow around, a process known as osseointegration. The base of the implant will act as the root of the tooth, allowing the artificial tooth to function the same as the rest of the teeth in the patient’s mouth.
The dentist will attach an artificial tooth to the implant once the bone has grown around the implant. This may require a minor second surgery. The tooth will be custom-made to look like the rest of the teeth in the patient’s mouth.
To replace one or more missing teeth, a dentist may recommend a bridge for a patient. A bridge is a metal frame that has artificial teeth on it. This is a good option to replace several teeth, but it can also be used to replace only one tooth. The frame is attached in the mouth with supports. These supports may be implants or natural teeth around the area.
If a patient has one missing tooth in the front of the mouth, a dentist may recommend a Maryland bridge. This is a variation of the traditional bridge. With this type, the dentist will attach the bridge in the mouth with thin metal strips that are glued to the back of other teeth. This is used if there is not enough room or bone density for an implant.
A partial denture can replace one or more teeth. The patient will have metal clasps that will keep the denture in place. At night, patients will take the denture out of the mouth for sleeping. This allows for easy cleaning of the denture. Nearby teeth will not need to be filed down before a patient is fitted for this type of denture.
Whether you have one missing tooth or several, visiting a dentist is the first step in restoring your smile. From implants to bridges, you have several options for replacing your teeth. Each one offers many benefits. Your dentist can help you determine what the right option will be for you.
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