I have some missing teeth, what are some of my options to replace them?
Partial edentulism (missing teeth) can present a variety of problems for many people. Tooth loss can be the result of caries, trauma or periodontal disease to name a few and can create problems for the remaining teeth. There are many options to replace missing teeth, For most patients there is usually more than one treatment option that would suit their mouth in which emphasizes the importance of regular visits to your dentist.
Implant placement is considered to be the first option when replacing single or multiple teeth. A dental implant can support one or multiple teeth and multiple implants can also support complete upper or lower dentures. Implants today are widely thought to be the most appropriate single tooth replacement treatment option.There are multiple factors that need to be examined with your dental professional team before having an implant placed. These factors include but are not limited to: how much bone remains in the implant site, how much space remains between adjacent teeth, and how a patient’s systemic health will affect the prognosis of an implant.
Fixed partial dentures (bridges) are another treatment option to replace missing teeth. A bridge consists of two or more crowns placed on teeth adjacent to the edentulous space with a pontic (fake tooth) or pontics attached to these crowns. Bridges have been an appropriate way to treat partial edentulism for many years and are still used today. Bridges also have specific indications and contraindications that need to be discussed with your dentist when determining if a bridge is an appropriate option for you.
Removable partial dentures are considered another option for the treatment of missing teeth. Removable partial dentures are removable appliances that are made to utilize the remaining teeth as retentive features. Theya re most commonly used in cases where there are multiple missing teeth. As with all the other treatment options discussed, there are indications and contraindications to partial dentures.
The options discussed above are only a brief summary of the options to treat partial edentulism. Regardless of the number of teeth missing, regular examinations and open communication with your dentist and dental professional team will allow you to be informed and benefit from the best treatment options for you.
Dr. Daniel Nosyk, B Sc. D.M.D.