When a tooth, several teeth, or an entire row of teeth (i.e., arch) are missing, it is vital that these missing teeth are replaced as soon as possible. Neglecting to replace a single tooth or several missing teeth can lead to a shifting of the remaining teeth. In addition, missing teeth can make it difficult to consume certain kinds of foods, can cause bone loss, and result in a painful condition referred to as temporomandibular jaw syndrome (TMJ). There are three treatment options used to replace missing teeth: dental implants, a fixed bridge, and removable prostheses.
Whether an individual is replacing a single tooth, several teeth, or a full arch of teeth, dental implants may be a good option.
A Fixed Dental Bridge
When several teeth are missing, a patient may be a good candidate for a fixed dental bridge. A bridge attaches to the teeth on either side of the gap where the teeth used to be, the dental crowns rest on top of the gum.
Dentures, Partials, and Flippers
Flippers, partials, and dentures are false, removable teeth that have an acrylic base designed to resemble the gums. These prostheses slide over the bare gum and remain in place until they are physically removed.
Flippers are used to replace a single tooth; partials are used to replace several missing teeth and a denture is designed to replace an entire row of missing teeth.
Sometimes, people who wear dentures worry that they may be unstable; These individuals may choose to use a temporary adhesive. Since these prostheses rest above the gumline, inserting and removing them is pain-free.
The main benefit of a removable prosthesis like a denture is that they are less expensive than dental implants and dental insurance usually covers a removable prosthesis. The main drawback of removable prostheses is that they can slip, click and move around.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant permanently replaces an entire tooth, root and all. Dental implants consist of a metal foundation that is placed within the jawbone (i.e., post or implant). An abutment, which is an attachment that is used to connect the post to the prosthetic tooth (i.e., dental crown). Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth or an entire arch of missing teeth.
Today, an entire arch of teeth can be replaced using as few as four implants. The main benefit of dental implants is that they are a permanent tooth replacement option that closely mimics the natural teeth; however, these implants are costly and typically not covered by dental insurance companies.
If you are missing teeth, Dr. Salvatore Marc DiBenedetto can help you determine which of these tooth replacement options are right for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. DiBenedetto, please call the office at 937-429-1761 or click here to schedule your appointment. Dr. DiBenedetto’s office is located at 3398 Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek, Ohio.