Teeth can be lost due to physical trauma or gum disease. Dentists often recommend that those who lose a tooth have it replaced as soon as possible, as a missing tooth can affect a person's bite and their speech. It may also lead to the deterioration of the jawbone and the movement of nearby teeth. Read on to learn more about two of the most common ways to replace a missing tooth.
A dental bridge
A dental bridge for one missing tooth is made up of two crowns and an artificial tooth. They are normally made from either metal or porcelain. The crowns are placed on top of the healthy teeth adjacent to the empty space where the original tooth once was, and the artificial tooth is then inserted into that space. The two crowns essentially act as a support structure which keeps the false tooth firmly in place.
The insertion of this type of dental device is relatively quick, usually taking no more than one or two visits to the dentist. This means that a person who has suffered tooth loss can have their smile restored and their bite and speech changes corrected within a matter of days.
However, there are some disadvantages associated with this type of treatment. Bridges do not last forever and will usually need to be replaced every five years or so. Additionally, their insertion does involve damaging the surrounding teeth; in order to create room in the mouth for the aforementioned crowns, the healthy teeth next to the missing tooth need to be filed down.
A dental implant can also be used to replace a missing tooth. An implant is a screw-like, cylindrical device which is placed into the socket and left for several months so that it can fuse with the nearby bone. After the fusion process (or osseointegration) is finished, the secured implant is then topped with a special component known as an abutment, which allows the dentist to attach an artificial tooth to the implant.
If cared for properly, dental implants can often last for several decades. Moreover, unlike a dental bridge, they have no negative impact on nearby teeth. However, the insertion procedure is far more complex and lengthy than that of a bridge. A person who is having an implant fitted will normally have to wear a partial denture for several months whilst they wait for the osseointegration process to finish. This can be somewhat uncomfortable and inconvenient. With this being said, dental implants are generally considered to be a better long-term solution to tooth loss than bridges or other types of teeth replacement options.Share
24 February 2017
As you age, it can become harder to take care of your teeth. Motor challenges can make it hard to floss, while memory issues may make it easy to overlook brushing. Whether you are a senior looking for solutions to some of the common dental problems or a senior with specific questions about cavities or oral surgery, you have come to the right place. In this blog, I am going to touch on a range of topics related to seniors and oral health. This is the type of resource I wish my mum would have had access to in her senior years, and I hope you enjoy having access to it during yours. I appreciate you reading my posts.