2 Tooth Replacement Strategies to Understand
Tooth loss may come about as the result of poor dental hygiene, old age, or traumatic facial injuries, such as those sustained in contact sports. Whatever the reason, it is important to be aware of all of the options there are for treating one or more missing teeth. If you would like to boost your knowledge of restorative dental treatments, read on to learn about two of the most frequently utilized techniques.
1. Removable Partial Dentures
The easiest way to think of a removable partial denture is as a dental retainer with one or more false teeth attached to it. The plastic base is usually colored pink so it blends with your palate and gums. Naturally, a partial denture is created to fit your specific mouth. That means that your dentist must first make a mold not only of the inside of your mouth but also the gaps that are to be corrected.
A partial denture is designed to attach to the healthy teeth adjacent to the missing one. This attachment has traditionally been accomplished with metal clasps. Yet newer and more aesthetically inconspicuous options are now available. These involve the use of what are known as precision attachments.
Precision attachments offer a number of benefits for those who wear a removable partial denture. For one thing, they are able to better stay in place, thanks to the fact that the insertion pathway is different from the direction in which the tongue and the muscles of your mouth will be pulling.
For another thing, precision attachments are less obtrusive. You see, many people find the metal clasps used on traditional removable partial dentures somewhat awkward inside of the mouth. A system that uses precision attachments is much more streamlined, meaning you won't experience as much difficulty in speaking, chewing, or swallowing with the denture in place.
Of course, all removable partial dentures will require some time to get used to. Over time, you'll find yourself more comfortable with partial dentures.
If you find that the denture is causing sore spots inside of your mouth, chances are its fit will need to be further adjusted. This is a normal part of the fitting process. By making incremental changes, your dentist will ultimately be able to set you up with a denture that feels natural and effectively mimics the missing tooth.
2. Fixed Bridges
Fixed bridges represent a somewhat more permanent option. Like a removable partial denture, a fixed bridge utilizes a base containing a prosthetic tooth. This base spans the gap by attaching to healthy teeth on either side.
Unlike a removable partial denture, however, a fixed bridge is permanently installed in your mouth. This is accomplished by making subtle alterations to the adjacent teeth so that they may act as anchor points. This offers a much greater degree of stability and security than that of a removable partial denture.
In cases where the tooth loss in question is more severe, or where the neighboring teeth are structurally unsuitable for use as attachment points, a so-called implant-supported bridge may be installed instead. This is simply a fixed bridge that attaches to dental implants.
Dental implants consist of heavy duty titanium posts that are surgically implanted in the bone of your jaw. These posts have screw threads on their exposed portion. These threads allow dental crowns-carefully manufactured replacement teeth-to be screwed into place. In the case of implant-supported bridges, these crowns are designed to act as points of attachment for the bridge.If you are missing one or more teeth, Michael J. Wallace, DDS LLC, can help you figure out which replacement option is right for you. Call us today.