Age, certain health conditions and lifestyle factors can all impact the health of your teeth. Teeth can wear down and enamel can weaken, which leaves your teeth susceptible to developing cracks, decay and infection. If you lose one or more teeth you can benefit from prosthetic dentistry, which utilises dental appliances that are made specifically to fit your mouth and replace your missing teeth. Most dental practices offer dental prosthetics, as they provide more than just cosmetic benefit. Replacing missing teeth can prevent movement of the surrounding teeth, which is important for your overall oral health. When teeth move into the spaces created by tooth loss, your alignment changes and this can impact jaw health and cause other oral health concerns, such as tooth grinding. Read on to learn about three types of dental prosthetics that can be used to replace missing teeth.
When you think of replacing missing teeth, dentures are probably the first option that springs to mind. They are a good option when many or all of your teeth are missing, and they are easy to clean. Dentures have come a long way over the last couple of decades and they now look much more natural and can also be made to match the colour of any remaining natural teeth.
Dentures need to be made to fit your mouth perfectly to prevent gum irritation, so your dentist will take impressions of your mouth and a plastic frame will be created that slips over your gum line. Porcelain teeth are fitted to the plastic frame, and once you get used to wearing them, your dentures should feel natural and allow you to eat and drink normally.
A dental bridge is used when you have a single missing tooth or a couple of adjacent missing teeth. A bridge consists of porcelain teeth that slot into the gap in your gum line in the same way dentures do, but it can't be removed. Dental crowns, which are like caps, are secured with dental cement to the natural teeth on each side of the bridge, and this holds the bridge in place. To clean a bridge you simply brush your teeth as normal, and there are no restrictions on what you can eat or drink.
A dental implant can be a good option if you have a single missing tooth. It consists of a titanium rod that's screwed into your gum and a porcelain tooth is secured to the rod. An implant can't be removed, and over time, your jawbone will become fused with the implant rod. Implants look just like your natural teeth, but your dentist will need to ensure you have a strong jawbone before you have an implant fitted, so expect to have a dental X-ray.
If you've been putting off having missing teeth replaced because of how false dentures used to look or because you think prosthetics could be uncomfortable and inconvenient, have a chat with your dentist. You may be surprised by how far prosthetic dentistry has come.Share