Replacing missing teeth is not a problem these days. There are many ways to do it. Bridges, dentures or simple implants can do the job. All you need to do is to contact a cosmetic dentist and get the job done. He or she will have a check up and suggest the best method suitable for the replacement. While suggesting the method the dentist will take into account the health of the patient, the health of the other teeth, the health of the gum as well as the jaw bone.
So it may happen that your method will be different from another. To understand why methods differ, it is better to have a look into the common methods of replacing missing teeth that are available today. Generally there are three very common methods available at the moment. They are fixed dentures, removable dentures and implants.
Ways to Replace Missing Teeth
Fixed Partial Dentures or Fixed Bridges
This is probably the oldest of the methods that is still in use. Fixed partial dentures or fixed bridgework are commonly known as bridges though removable dentures also need bridges for attachment. Such bridgework replaces the missing teeth and thereby fills in the gaps. Fixed bridges are permanently bonded to the existing teeth and attachment and removal needs to be done by the dentist only. Generally such dentures are very successfully used to restore the original bite and smile.
A fixed bridge is attached to the adjacent natural teeth with cement. The missing teeth are replaced with artificial or prosthetic teeth. Such teeth are attached to two crowns which are then fixed atop the adjoining natural teeth in a manner so that one crown rests on the tooth in front of the gap and another on the tooth behind the gap.
Sometimes both the crowns are made on one side when there are no suitable natural teeth at any one end. The commonest material used for such bridges are tooth made of porcelain that are attached to hard gold alloy. These days dentures without any metallic parts are also available. However, the options should only be decided by the dentist.
Like all things fixed bridge dentures have their advantages and disadvantages. These dentures are better looking and functions almost like your natural teeth and you can even brush them like natural teeth. But they are costlier options than the removable ones and takes time and specialist to install.
Removable Partial Bridgework or Removable Bridgework
Removable bridgework is not fixed by the dentist and this can be easily uninstalled by the patient for maintenance and adjustment. They cost much lesser than the fixed bridge but they may not give the same fit and comfort. The contraption is very much like the fixed bridge, but here the prosthetic teeth are attached to a metal wire frame that is usually covered with a gum colored acrylic to match the gum line. This metal frame has clasps which are used to attach to the adjacent teeth and keep the teeth in place while eating or speaking.
Modern artificial dentures have clasp-less framework which use precision fittings to attach to the gaps created by the missing teeth. Such replacements give superior fitting and more stability during speaking, eating, etc. and also look better. Sometimes people lose so many teeth that partial dentures may not serve the purpose. In those cases full dentures are used and most of the times these are of removable nature.
Most of the times, the users of such artificial dentures, grasp the process of wearing and removing them quite easily. Also, the time it takes the artificial dentures to set in varies from person to person but getting used to these do not take more than two weeks in normal cases.
Speaking of the advantages of removable dentures one should first mention the price factor. These cost lesser to afford than the permanent ones and can be easily replaced if they are broken. And yes, these removable dentures can get broken or lose their shape. So, periodic checking and refitting is needed.
This method of replacing lost tooth is quite popular as the replaced prosthetic tooth can do almost 85% of the job of a natural tooth. In implants a titanium replacement is inserted into the jaw bone and covered with a crown or bridge as per the need. The cosmetic outcome of such replacement is excellent and maintenance is easy as you can clean it like a natural tooth. But such method may not be recommended for everyone.
Only those people who have good health, both dental and physical, are allowed such methods. Moreover, maintaining a good dental hygiene all along is also very important. One disadvantage is that the cost of such replacement is the highest among the three methods.
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