What Are Popular Options for Replacing Missing Teeth?

What Are Popular Options for Replacing Missing Teeth? from Alexandria Old Town Dental in Alexandria, VAThere are a variety of common reasons people are missing teeth. Missing teeth can cause many oral health problems, including difficulty chewing food and the gradual movement and misalignment of your teeth over time. However, there are solutions to dealing with missing teeth, including dental implants, implant-supported bridges, and removable partial dentures. Read on to find out more about each of these options and consult with your dentist to choose the appropriate treatment.

Common reasons people are missing teeth

There are several reasons why a person can be missing a tooth or teeth. Some of these reasons include poor hygiene, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Dental implants

Dental implants are one option for replacing missing teeth that looks and feels like a real tooth. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. Additionally, they can last a lifetime if they are properly cared for. With dental implants, the root of the tooth is replaced with a screw. This is the anchor for the false tooth that is replacing the missing tooth. Once the screw has been put in, you must heal for a few months to allow the screw to fuse to your jawbone before the dental crown can be added. The pros of dental implants include their effectiveness, their natural appearance, and their permanence. Some cons of dental implants are their costliness and the invasive nature of the procedure.

Implant-supported bridges

While dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or several teeth, implant-supported bridges are designed to replace rows of several missing teeth. Rather than needing every implanted tooth to be anchored by a screw, only the two teeth on each end of the implant bridge are anchored by a screw. The middle teeth do not require screws. While implant-supported bridges match the natural look and feel of dental implants and their durability and effectiveness, implant-supported bridges are also a more economically sound option for replacing multiple missing teeth. However, the downsides of implant-supported bridges are that they can only be used to replace several missing teeth that are grouped together, bridges will need to be replaced and therefore are not a permanent solution, and the process of having a bridge put in requires several dental visits.

Removable partial dentures

A third option for replacing missing teeth is to get removable partial dentures. Removable partial dentures are a simpler solution than dental implants. Rather than replacing all your teeth—missing or not—with a full set of removable dentures, getting a partial set of dentures will allow you to replace several missing teeth. Removable partial dentures are clasped in place and prevent your remaining teeth from moving into the space where the missing teeth used to be.

Some of the pros of partial dentures are that if you lose more teeth in the future, more teeth can be added to a denture set; removable partial dentures are one of the most affordable options for replacing missing teeth, and partial removable dentures only requires a metal clasp. Some of the cons of removable partial dentures are that they can be uncomfortable, they must be removed and cleaned every day, you cannot sleep with them on, and partial dentures do not have the natural look of dental implants because the metal clasps are visible.

Request an appointment or call Alexandria Old Town Dental at 703-763-1078 for an appointment in our Alexandria office.

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