Smile! We have plenty of tooth replacement options.
Missing teeth can negatively affect your speech, ability to chew, and may even impact your self-esteem. If you are self-conscious of smiling or are dealing with issues because of the condition of your teeth, there are solutions that can help.
The way we treat tooth replacement in children and adults will be slightly different. If a child loses an adult tooth, the choice for replacement is usually limited to a removable oral appliance bearing an artificial tooth until such time as the growth of the child has ceased.
In cases of adult tooth loss, permanent or temporary solutions can be provided based on your specific needs. Most patients who have lost one or more teeth where one of the teeth is visible in the smile, will receive a removable appliance to provide a temporary replacement that can carry them through the aesthetic needs during initial healing. While the tissues continue to heal, the shape of the bone at the extraction site continues to change. This process continues for several months. After adequate healing, a permanent option can be found to suit individual needs. The best option for replacement of missing adult teeth is always a permanent solution. However, there are instances where individuals may choose removable options.
Options for permanent replacement of missing teeth in adults are dental implants, bridges, and dentures. The advantages of these options being that they are:
● A relatively permanent solution
● Require simple maintenance that you routinely perform, as you would for the rest of your teeth
If you have missing teeth, you do have multiple tooth replacement options to choose from based on your current dental needs and history.
Tooth Replacement Options
A dental implant is an artificial tooth. The “root” portion is made of titanium and is placed in the jawbone, whereas the artificial tooth portion is made of either porcelain/ceramic, metal or a combination of both based on function and preference. The placement of a dental implant is a surgical procedure. Many believe that dental implants are more expensive than bridges. Although initial costs may seem that way, in the long term, implants can prove to be a more cost-effective treatment option. They are less likely to require replacement over one’s lifetime. They are less likely to contribute to complications with adjacent teeth.
The benefits of dental implants are that they function, look and feel like your real teeth! After the healing from the implant placement surgery, the implants will attach to your jawbone providing them the ability to withstand the force of one’s bite.
Bridges rely on adjacent teeth to replace the missing tooth/teeth. This does increase the risk to the health of the adjacent teeth over time, especially in situations where effective oral hygiene routines are lacking. In comparison, implants are independent of the adjacent teeth, and hence, do not tend to negatively influence the neighboring teeth
Traditional bridges are designed to have porcelain/ceramic exteriors, with metal substructures. Today, there are options for fully ceramic bridges are considered to be more aesthetically pleasing. The concept of a bridge is one where the artificial tooth/teeth (called pontics) are attached to crowns on both sides of the pontic to replace the missing tooth and complete the smile.
Maryland Bonded Bridges
These are also known as resin-bonded bridges, fabricated as porcelain supported by a metal framework. The bridge is bonded to the adjacent teeth. It can provide a highly aesthetic option, but is not able to easily withstand heavy chewing forces.
The advantage of the design of a Maryland bridge is that it involves minimal tooth reduction to adapt the bridge, but it is not an option an ideal option to replace a molar or bicuspid tooth. As with traditional bridges, these bridges do require multiple visits to ensure the right fit and colour. When compared to implants, however, it is generally faster to have a bridge placed than to place and finish an implant at the same site. well. There are a few bridge options depending on your specific dental needs.
Removable Partial Dentures
Partial dentures are a removable option for tooth replacement. With a partial denture, it is possible to replace one or multiple teeth, including situations where the missing teeth are not all side-by-side, in one appliance. The partial denture will have a main component that is usually metal, forming the framework on which the artificial teeth are attached. Partial dentures are designed to grip some of the teeth so as to provide stability when chewing. The number and position of the missing teeth will determine the stability of the partial denture, and will be likely to play a role in the longterm outcome of wearing a partial denture.
Partial dentures offer the advantage of being less costly than the other options discussed above, but they eventually play a role in compromising the health and stability of the teeth they clasp and can lead to concerns with discomfort.
Removable Complete Denture
Complete dentures are offered as a tooth replacement option to patients who either have no teeth, or require the removal of all of their existing teeth on one or both jaws. The fabrication of a complete denture involves multiple brief visits to the dental clinic, with slightly more visits for patients requiring extractions.
Learn More About Your Tooth Replacement Options
Book an appointment with Dr. Bains at Lewis Estates Dental Centre in West Edmonton for an initial assessment for your tooth replacement options. You’ll receive a comprehensive evaluation of your oral health and be provided with options that will allow you to choose what fits both your aesthetic and functional needs to give you have the smile you want.