Saturday, February 26, 2011

What is the best way to replace a missing tooth?


Teeth can be lost as a result of trauma, accidents, gum diseases, failed root canals, broken teeth, and tooth decay. A missing tooth will cause the opposing tooth to supraerupt into the missing space. Adjacent teeth also “fall” or “tilt” into the gap. Food also begins to collect in the gaps created by these moving and tilted teeth may further creates problem to the adjacent tooth.

There are three basic ways to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
a) fixed bridge
b) removable appliance
c) dental implant


Fixed bridge :
The two adjacent teeth to the missing tooth are prepared for crowns and a false tooth is attached between these two crowns to fill the space left by a missing tooth. The benefit of a fixed bridge is that it provides stability and is fixed in patient’s mouth. With good oral hygiene, your crown or bridge can last a very long time. This includes proper brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups.


Removable appliance :
A removable appliance is the most economical option. A removable appliance is a cheaper procedure to obtain than a fixed bridge or a dental implant and has the advantage of being able to replace multiple teeth with one appliance. The disadvantages are that it may not be as esthetic as a bridge. Clasps will be required to retain the removable appliance . Also, there may be some discomfort with wearing removable hardware in your mouth, and it is not as stable as a bridge.

Dental implant :
A dental implant is an artificial "root" that is implanted in jawbone and then a tooth is placed on it or we can say it is like placing an entirely new artificial tooth in your mouth.
No teeth on either side have to be prepared for crowns, so there is no grinding on good teeth just fix the missing tooth. The disadvantages of implants are that they can cost more and time-consuming. There is also a delay in getting the false tooth or teeth - a healing interval of several months may be required before the artificial root can have a tooth placed on it. There is also surgery involved with its attendant discomfort and healing period. Implant cannot be placed on medically ill persons.


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