There can be all sorts of reasons why you are missing one or more of your teeth. You could have gotten into an accident and the teeth were knocked out. You might have had problems where a tooth cracked and could not be saved with a root canal and crown.
Regardless of why you have missing teeth, you have a few different options to enhance your smile and give you a natural looking appearance.
One popular solution to consider when you need to replace a single tooth or a few teeth are dental implants. An implant is essentially a dental crown that is secured to an artificial root.
The artificial root used with dental implants is normally a titanium post that is secured into the jaw bone. Titanium has been found to be very compatible with bone and the jaw bone will even grow new bone around the post once it is secured in place.
The primary benefit of dental implants is they mimic natural tooth performance. They are much stronger than dentures so you can eat basically whatever you want without worrying about the tooth slipping or coming out.
Another benefit of dental implants is they require the same oral care as your natural teeth. You simply brush them twice a day and floss them once a day. At your bi-annual dental checkups, your hygienist will clean the implants to remove plaque and tartar.
Implant Supported Dentures
Another option to replace missing teeth is with implant supported dentures. Implant supported dentures are ideally suited for people who have a large number of missing teeth.
Rather than the denture plate sitting directly on top of the gums and having to use an adhesive to hold in place, the denture plate is secured in place with implants. Normally there is at least four implant posts used to lock the denture plate in place.
Unlike traditional dentures, once the plate is locked, it does not slip or move. This can bring great relief to people who have to wear dentures and have concerns their artificial teeth will slip or create problems eating their favorite foods.
Your dentist and hygienist will instruct you on how to care and clean your dentures in between your bi-annual visits.
If you have a few missing teeth, a dental bridge may be an ideal option. Dental bridges are secured to adjacent teeth. There are both permanently installed and removable dental bridges, depending on the location of the missing teeth.
For permanently installed dental bridges, you would care for them with regular brushing and flossing carefully around the anchor teeth. For removable bridges, you would take them out and clean them separately in addition to brushing and flossing your natural teeth.