Options For Missing Teeth
No one likes the idea of missing teeth. It sounds wrong, unnatural, and even scary, and if you can picture yourself in front of the mirror with gaps in your otherwise healthy smile, then you can probably relate to those very feelings. There are many reasons why someone would have missing teeth, so if you do enter our doors here at Abbotsford dental with missing teeth or a holey smile, we will do everything in our power to restore your confidence and overall oral health.
Before we can do anything, you will be put through an in-depth examination before the options are easily explained and offered. – Yes, there a few. Before making a decision, it is best to know what they are and what they offer.
Here is the list:
1) Leave it Alone
Straight forward, right? Just leave it. Let it be a gap. Don’t. Do. Anything. This has always been an option for people with missing teeth, as you yourself might know someone who has gone down this very path. Although we don’t recommend it, some people prefer leaving a gap in their smile and don’t necessarily mind the issues that inevitably come with it. Maybe they aren’t committed to the idea of paying for a particular treatment, and have always believed the gap or gaps in their teeth aren’t a serious problem. After all, it is your prerogative.
Here at Abbotsford Dental, however, we have always believed (and it is backed by research) that missing teeth over a prolonged period of time can be quite detrimental to the oral health and overall biting strength of an individual. The jawbone can also start to weaken and this can lead to the remaining teeth shifting to cover for the missing teeth in ways that will only complicate things in the future.
We don’t want that.
It also puts unwanted stress on the jawbone, which can obviously lead to long-term pain and persistent discomfort.
Again, it’s up to you, but it isn’t recommended.
To build a bridge or to not build a bridge. That is the question, at least when it comes to missing teeth, and as a factor perhaps, when making a decision, bridgework is a traditional method and has been around for many years.
Sounds like a winner, right?
The idea of bridgework is to set up posts on either side of the gap as ‘anchors’. This then allows the dental professional set up a fixed and sturdy bridge between them and put in a replacement tooth, thus solving the problem of your pesky, incomplete smile. While this form of treatment can lead to issues with chewing while decreasing the strength of your bite (and making it difficult to floss) you can rest assured that your jaw and surrounding tissue is going to remain sturdy, durable, and safe.
No, it’s not a Hollywood style of implant, but merely a dental technique used where a post is drilled into the jawbone before a replacement tooth is put in. That’s it. It sounds painful, with the drilling and all, but it is relatively straightforward procedure. This is also a good way to restore the feeling or your natural teeth, and and feel confident and capable when biting down again, just like you used to. The only downside with this form of treatment, however, it that it is costly. If you are on a strict budget, perhaps implants aren’t for you.
4) Composite Bridgework
This is a different form of treatment to traditional bridgework, and even though they share a similar name in their description, they shouldn’t be placed in the same category. Composite bridgework, in fact, looks at using composite resin materials for the eventual bridge. This means the natural teeth on either side of the gap will not be ground down to a post. Instead, the resin material is going to be used to assist with the process, so if the bridge doesn’t work, it is easier to remove it and still have functional teeth.
5) Removable Bridge
A removable bridge gives everything away in its title.
Removable. – “As in you can take it out”.
The piece, in fact, or “flipper” as it is also known, can be placed in or out of your mouth whenever you feel like it and isn’t drilled or fastened to the jawbone. The idea here it minimise the pressure being put on the jawbone as you heartily chew down on your roast dinner. However, and concerning its removable nature, such a form of treatment can become difficult to keep in place as it can eventually feel uncomfortable, loose, and even painful.