Having one or more missing teeth can impact a person’s ability to chew food, speak clearly, and maintain a beautiful smile. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, adults between 20 and 64 years have an average of 25.5 teeth remaining, while 2.2 percent of adults in this age group have no remaining teeth. While keeping your natural teeth for as long as you can is ideal, this isn’t always possible. If you have missing teeth, speak with your Clermont dentist about replacement options.
Why Replace a Missing Tooth?
If you have had one or more teeth removed, you may be thinking about replacing them. Missing teeth can have a bigger impact on your day-to-day life than you would think.
Having missing teeth can sometimes make it difficult to chew and speak. Your teeth play a critical role in allowing you to break down food and pronounce words clearly. In addition, your remaining teeth could shift out of place, resulting in a misalignment.
Replacement Options for Missing Teeth
With modern dentistry, having to have a tooth extracted is no longer a big deal. Your restorative dentist in Clermont FL can recommend a number of treatment options to restore the appearance and function of your smile. The restoration you choose will depend on several factors, such as the number of teeth you have missing, the condition of your jawbone and supporting structures, and your personal and financial preferences.
Some of the most popular and effective replacement options for missing teeth include:
Tooth Supported Bridges
A tooth-supported dental bridge is a great way to restore your chewing ability, correct your bite, maintain the shape of your cheeks, and protect your remaining teeth by preventing them from shifting into the gap left by your missing tooth. A tooth-supported gap typically has crowns on either side of the missing tooth and uses a pontic (false tooth) to replace the missing tooth.
Traditional fixed bridges are the most common and use crowns on either side of the gap to keep the filler tooth in place. Traditional bridges are usually made of ceramics, metal, or porcelain fused to metal. Other options include cantilever bridges that have a pontic that connects to just one abutment tooth and Maryland dental bridges that have wings on each side of the bridge that bonds to your existing teeth.
Dental implants are a type of replacement tooth root that provides patients with a durable foundation for removable or fixed replacement teeth. There are many advantages to choosing dental implants to replace your missing teeth, such as improved appearance, speech, and comfort. Implants can also result in easier eating, improved oral health, increased self-esteem, and greater convenience.
Unlike bridges that connect to adjacent teeth for support, dental implants are anchored into the jaw bone directly. Once the screw-like implant is placed into the jaw and has ample time to heal, a crown is attached that looks and functions just like your natural teeth.
An implant-supported dental bridge has properties of both tooth-supported bridges and dental implants. Your dentist may recommend an implant-supported bridge as a replacement for multiple teeth. A common configuration involves the use of two implants that support three teeth. There are usually two “cap” teeth on each end that is bridged by another tooth in the center.
Fixed implant-supported bridges offer patients a more cost-effective solution compared to replacing each tooth individually. What treatment is best suited for you will depend on your current dental health and your financial situation.
Contact Your Dentist in Clermont
If you’re looking to replace one or more missing teeth, know that you have several viable options. Your dentist can help you determine what type of treatment is best and create a treatment that works for you. The friendly and knowledgeable team of dental professionals at Hancock Village Dental can help you get started. To learn more about replacement options for missing teeth or to schedule a consultation, contact Hancock Village Dental today.