Many may wonder if it’s absolutely necessary to replace teeth once they fall out. The answer is yes. Replacing missing teeth do more than just make the face aesthetically pleasing, they play a large part in keeping the mouth healthy. For example, if someone has gaps throughout their mouth due to missing teeth, it’s easy for food to fall in those gaps, get trapped, and rot. Overtime, that rotten food and bacteria will build up and lead to gum disease and more tooth loss. Therefore, understanding different tooth replacement options will help individuals make the best decision for their oral health.
Depending on how many teeth are missing, dentists may recommend a partial denture, a fixed bridge, or dental implants. A partial denture is a plate that contains one or more false teeth. Sometimes partial dentures are plastic or a combination of metal and plastic. Partial dentures have clasps that prevent them from moving throughout the mouth. However, depending on the placement of the clasp, they can be visible during a smile.
Metal partial dentures are stronger than plastic dentures, but they’re also more expensive, too. They are lighter to wear than plastic dentures and are easily supported by the surrounding teeth. Even though the base of the dentures is metal, they look very natural due to the gum-colored plastic and natural-looking teeth on them.
Dental bridges are created by putting crowns on the teeth at each side of the gap and connecting the two crowns together by planting a false tooth in the gap. Bridges are made in laboratories using porcelain pieces that are cemented into place, which means once a bridge is placed it cannot be removed. Bridges can be expensive, but they are an excellent investment because they last for years.
Dental implants can be used to replace one missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. Dental implants are placed into the gums with titanium screws that are used to replace the tooth’s root once it fails. These screws are installed into the jawbones to hold the implants in place. Implants will last as long as they are properly cared for, just like natural teeth. This procedure can take several months since the false teeth aren’t installed until three or four months after the implants are placed.
It’s important for individuals to brush and floss their mouths daily and attend their annual dental checkups in order to preserve their implants (and remaining natural teeth).
At McBride Dental, we offer tooth replacement options for our patients who are suffering from tooth loss. Some of our treatment options include dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants. Dental implants replace the entire tooth and root, which may be more beneficial for some patients depending on the severity of their tooth loss. Dr. McBride’s advanced training allows him to successfully place and restore dental implants, which is outstanding since he is one of out of three dentists in San Diego County that is qualified to perform these procedures. If you are in the San Diego area and would like to schedule an appointment with us, all us today at (760) 471-1003.