What are the different options for tooth replacement?

couple with tooth replacement

Losing a tooth can be due to a variety of reasons- ill health, life style, heredity, accidents, and diseases. It is a quite common procedure for people to opt for tooth replacement options. Be it any of the above reasons for teeth loss – it affects people pretty badly – loss of self-confidence, difficulty in speech, consuming food and drinks are some of the effects of losing teeth. Besides this, one can also notice a gradual change in the jaw structure due to tooth loss. The structure and position of the remaining teeth are also lost as they are not held in position by other teeth.

For all the above reasons, it is important that tooth replacement is carried out for aesthetic reasons and also for health reasons. There are a variety of options to choose from depending on one’s need and oral health conditions.

Different options available for tooth replacement

1. Implants

Dental implants are a good long term procedure for tooth replacement. Strong materials are placed in the jaw structure. This will provide support to hold a replacement tooth. There are different types of Implants – this can be placed on the bone and also inside the bone. The type of Implant is decided by the dentist according to the strength of the jaw bone.

The dental consultation decides on the type of procedure that will be done according to oral health. The implants are placed on the bones surgically. After the gum heals then the replacement teeth are placed on the implants.  Depending on the number of teeth lost, this can be a single teeth replacement or multiple teeth replacement. This is also possible if the whole set of teeth need to be replaced.

2. Fixed bridges

Placing dental bridges is another type of tooth replacement procedure that is performed. In this the lost teeth are replaced and it is held in place with support from its neighbouring teeth. There are different types of materials used to make these bridges.

Porcelain bridges are most favoured. This is because it mimics the natural tooth greatly. It can be moulded to the shape of the original teeth. They are also sturdy and last for a long time. The wearer also gets a boost of self-confidence as people are not able to make out if the person has done a procedure or not. There are other types in which the teeth are held in place by dental crowns. Different options can be discussed with the dentist based on one’s needs and requirements.

3. Temporary bridges

When a person needs to go for tooth replacement procedures, the dentist would need the person to go in for few consultations. One of the first procedures that will be done is preparing for the support teeth. The neighbouring teeth are prepared so that complete support is given to the teeth that need to be replaced. When a person loses teeth, the gums and teeth need to be protected. When the teeth are prepared, it involves scraping away some of the dental enamel.

Temporary bridges are prescribed by the dentist to provide support to gums and exposed teeth. This is recommended until the second visit when the actual bridges are placed. Oral health is protected and maintained with the use of temporary bridges.

4. Removable partial dentures

Dentures which are removable consists of replacement teeth which are placed on pink bases. These bases are usually made of plastic. For providing extra support these would have metal structure and some are also provided with clasps to the original teeth. This helps to make sure that they do not move and stays in original position.

There have been studies done which sometimes suggest that these dentures need to be taken care of very diligently. These are made of plastic and are sometimes called as ‘flippers’ to suggest their nature. This also points out cleaning needs to be given priority. As it can lead to tooth decay and gum diseases.

5. Complete dentures

Complete and full dentures are recommended when the complete set of teeth are replaced. They are made of materials that look very similar to natural teeth. Upper dentures and Lower dentures are made differently to the cover the roof of the mouth, while the lower dentures are made in such a manner that it gives space to the tongue. They differ in this aspect.

Dentures are held in place using different methods, they rest in place on the gum tissue. Some are secured in place using adhesives specially made for this. Bringing back the sparkle of smile and also the lost confidence and speech besides aiding in food consumption.

Caring for dental replacements

As one cares for natural teeth, tooth replacements should also be cared for in a similar manner. Oral hygiene should be practised before, during and after placing replacements. This ensures that oral health does not deteriorate. Brushing and flossing should be continued as before. Mouth wash should also be used to clean the mouth of any food debris.

If surgery or other procedures are conducted, then need to check with the dentist before cleaning procedures are started. Immediately following brushing and flossing might harm the sensitive gum tissues. During consultations with the dentist, these should be discussed. Going for regular dental consultations – at least twice a year for normal consultations should be followed. If there are any dental concerns that cause trouble then dental specialists should be consulted at the earliest.

It has been noticed that delaying consultations and trying our different self-remedies might cause more harm and then good. So if one is not sure, then it is better to seek treatment for having good oral health.

All the different tooth replacements options are some of the common procedures that are recommended. Each person would be undergoing different procedures based on their oral health and personal choice. The pros and cons of each treatment procedure should be discussed with the dentist before one goes in for treatment.