Your teeth affect your whole body. When they’re healthy, you’re healthier too. A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance they will wear out prematurely, or be damaged or lost. Fortunately, you have many options to replace missing teeth.
You have options
There are a number of different ways to replace your missing teeth – from removable to fixed options, from temporary to long-lasting solutions. Dr. Mead takes the time to understand his patients’ goals and help them decide which option makes the most sense for their case. If a missing tooth is affecting your life, we can help. We are happy to give you more information about tooth replacement or schedule an evaluation to start you on the path to a fully functional mouth.
Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution for missing tooth replacement. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged. Unlike most bridges, implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.
A fixed bridge is a connected set of replacement teeth. For support, it is cemented into position on top of the teeth adjacent to the empty space. To prepare the adjacent teeth to accept the bridge, a thin layer of outer tooth structure is usually removed.
A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”.
Removable Partial Denture
A less fragile option is a removable partial denture cast in metal and plastic. It is held in place by wire clips. A removable partial denture can be removed and reinserted when required by the patient.
The most common solution, for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws are complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape.