Implants and Tooth Replacement
Although we always try very hard to save teeth, it is sometimes necessary to remove one or several teeth. In order to maintain a stable bite and to prevent the remaining teeth from shifting and tilting, most often we need to replace those missing teeth. There are essentially three ways to replace missing teeth:
- Dental implants are cylindrical metal devices that are placed into the jaw bone and to mimic the missing tooth root. A post is then placed on the implant, and an artificial tooth, or crown, is attached to the post to complete the process. Dental implants are the ideal, long-term, and esthetic solution for replacing missing teeth. One big advantage is that we do not need to reduce any tooth structure.
- Fixed bridges is a way to attach the missing tooth (or teeth) to crowns placed on the adjacent teeth. These bridges are non-removable (they are cemented in place) and are used to “bridge” the gap or space left by lost and missing teeth. Fixed bridges have been a popular alternative for many years due to their aesthetic appeal and functional success rate.
- Removable dentures are available as a full or partial set depending on the number of teeth that are missing. These dentures can be fabricated easily with no involvement to the adjacent teeth or bone. A removable denture may also rely on support from clasps on the adjacent teeth but gets its primary support from the gum tissue.
All three of these solutions can be made painlessly and will give an esthetic result. The correct restoration varies according to the individual and circumstances.