Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the sleep disorders treated by a sleep dentist. This condition causes the patient to stop breathing periodically during the night due to physical inhibitions in the air passages. To diagnose the condition, the sleep dentist will evaluate the signs and symptoms and conduct tests and examinations. This article…
3 Ways to Replace Missing Teeth
When we replace missing teeth, our mouths get a new lease on life. Gone is the need to struggle with bothersome gaps in the teeth. Teeth replacement allows us to chew more easily, clean our teeth more effectively and smile more confidently.
How does a dentist replace a missing tooth?
1. Dental implants
Installing a dental crown that is supported by an implant is a permanent way of replacing a tooth. The treatment is done by surgically placing an implant in the jawbone, and in separate procedures, attaching an abutment and dental crown to the implant.
Dental implants are great for a person who only needs a few teeth replaced. The perfect candidate for dental implants is a healthy patient with strong jawbones and sturdy teeth.
Installing implant-supported teeth is a process that takes many months and at least two dental procedures. The process requires commitment on the part of the patient. The benefits of an implant are worth the time and effort. Implants are comfortable and are as easy to clean as natural teeth. They encourage bone regeneration and last a lifetime.
A dental bridge has two components; the first is called a pontic. It is a false tooth that replaces the missing tooth. The second component is one or more abutment crowns. The crowns are fitted onto the healthy teeth that flank the missing tooth. The crowns' purpose is to hold the pontic in place.
Bridges are a good option for patients who do not qualify for dental implants or are unwilling to go through dental implant surgery. The upside of bridges is that they do not require invasive jaw surgery.
The drawbacks of dental bridges are that they come loose with time, and cleaning bridges is a skill that must be learned. Also, fitting crowns on healthy teeth weakens them and exposes them to the risk of injury and dental disease. However, there are two important variations of dental bridges that do not pose a risk to healthy teeth:
- Maryland bridges, where the pontic is held in place by metal frames bonded to the backs of healthy adjacent teeth
- Implant-supported bridges, where the pontic is held in place by the crowns of dental implants
Maryland bridges are less durable than traditional bridges, while implant-supported bridges are more durable.
Patients who are missing many or most of their teeth are good candidates for dentures. Dentures are prosthetic teeth that fit over the gums. They are a good option for people who are missing most of their teeth and are unwilling or unable to get dental implants or bridges.
There are two variations of dentures:
1. Full dentures: These are used by patients who have had all of their teeth removed.
2. Partial dentures: These are anchored by the remaining natural teeth with the help of a solid frame.
Which treatment will work for you?
It all depends on your health. If you are in good health and have a healthy jawbone and teeth, the dentist may recommend dental implants. If the missing tooth or teeth are flanked by healthy teeth, a dental bridge may be proposed. As for people who have lost most or all of their teeth due to age or illness, dentures are usually recommended.
Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists to explore your options. Let's get started….