If you have lost one or more teeth, then you should consult a dentist for a replacement to prevent deterioration of the jawbone or damage to existing, adjacent teeth. This is true whether you are missing one or more teeth. However, replacing a single tooth is different from replacing multiple missing teeth. Here are some of the common dental techniques for replacing multiple missing teeth:
Teeth-Supported Removable Partial Dentures
These are artificial teeth with gum-colored bases. Your dentist designs the dentures to fit the space left by your missing teeth. The dentures are then fastened to the available adjacent teeth using precision fasteners or clasps. Precision fasteners are more comfortable, aesthetically appealing and easier to insert and remove than clasps, but they are also relatively expensive.
One possible complication of partial dentures is tooth loss. This happens when the clasps put too much pressure on the teeth adjacent teeth and gums and weakens them. Since these dentures do not provide any root system for the missing teeth, atrophy (bone deterioration) of the jawbone is a real possibility.
Multiple Teeth-Supported Fixed Bridges
A bridge is used to close up the gap created by one or more missing teeth. It comprises of dental crowns on teeth on either side of the gap and a false tooth or false teeth between them. The false teeth (called pontics) may be made from different materials such as porcelain, gold or other metal alloys.
Obviously, this treatment can only work if your adjacent teeth (called the abutement) are strong enough. The abutment teeth have to be prepared for the attachment by removal of their enamel. This process, which is irreversible, makes your teeth prone to damage from trauma, heightened sensitivity or decay.
Implant-supported bridges solve the main problem of teeth-supported bridges because they don't interfere with the integrity of the adjacent teeth. Many people consider them to be superior to the first two treatment options because they:
- Are comfortable
- Prevents bone deterioration
- Are permanent
- Preserves integrity of adjacent teeth
- Don't interfere with chewing (which means you can eat all your favorite foods)
- Look and feel like natural teeth
Consult your dentist at places like http://www.completedentalhealthmi.com to discuss these treatment options further. The appropriate treatment may also depend on your particular lifestyle and age. Don't forget to maintain a high degree of oral hygiene so that you don't lose any more of your teeth. That will also help you to keep your orthodontics for as long as possible.