More often than not, it's a good idea to replace missing teeth as soon as possible to keep your mouth healthy and prevent the loss of structure in your smile. Here, our Ottawa dentists explain the variety of options for replacing your missing teeth, and how your dentist will work with you to determine which option is best for you.
Do I really need to replace my missing teeth?
When teeth are lost or knocked out, they may cause a variety of oral health issues if not promptly treated. Since the remaining teeth can shift our of their proper positions, difficulty chewing, abnormal wear and tear on surrounding teeth and discomfort are all possible.
A condition known as facial collapse occurs when the jaw bone in the area where the teeth are missing begins to deteriorate, eventually leading to the loss of facial function.
Replacement Options for Missing Teeth
When you come into our Ottawa dental office, your dentist will go over the following tooth replacement options with you and assist you in selecting the one that best meets your needs and fits within your financial budget.
Dentures are tooth replacements that are totally removable. This procedure can take some getting used to and the results won't ever be exactly the same as having a natural tooth still in your mouth. However, modern dentures are quite natural-looking, comfortable, and highly functional. In many cases dentures will also be the least expensive option for replacing missing teeth.
Depending on your requirements, you can choose between two different types of dentures. Full dentures are designed to replace all of the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw. Partial dentures can be used to replace a single missing tooth or a group of teeth in a row. Based on the impressions taken of your mouth, your dentures will be made specifically for you.
Dental bridges are fixed tooth replacements that are attached to surrounding teeth or dental implants on either side of the gap in your smile. Dental bridges aren't removable, resulting in a secure and comfortable fit for patients. Following the installation of a dental bridge, there will be many years before a replacement is required.
Dental implants are small titanium posts that act as artificial tooth roots and are surgically implanted into the jawbone to restore tooth function. A dental crown is placed on top of the tooth to complete the restoration.
The dental crown and implant combination have the feel, function and appearance of a natural tooth in nearly every way besides their colour. Wile implants tend to be more expensive and invasive than dentures or bridges on their own, many people find that the natural feel and look of an implant-supported restoration are worth the investment.