Dental Procedures to Replace Missing Teeth

Nowadays, there are several ways to replace missing teeth. Gone are the days you had to settle with a gap in your smile due to a lost tooth. Dental devices like dentures, implants and bridges can be used to restore the appearance of your smile and the lost function of the missing tooth.

Failing to replace missing teeth comes with some serious negative consequences. For one, when a tooth is missing, the others in the vicinity start to move towards the gap in an attempt to close it up. This leaves the person with crooked and poorly-aligned teeth. Failing to restore the root of a lost tooth leads to jawbone tissue loss which can alter a person's appearance and make their face appear sunken.

Common ways to replace missing teeth

1. Dentures

Dentures are the most affordable way to replace teeth especially when the person has lost most of their real teeth. These are dental devices that have two main parts. An artificial framework that rests on the wearer's gums and artificial teeth that look like real teeth.

When getting dentures, the dentist takes a mold of the patient's mouth and the impression is sent to a lab where the device is made. The dentist will call the patient for a follow-up visit when the prosthetic is ready and teach them how to insert and remove the device.

Dentures are a temporary solution and do not require any permanent changes to be made to the patient's remaining teeth. The device has to be taken out each night, cleaned and soaked in denture solution.

2. Bridges

Bridges are another popular procedure when it comes to replacing missing teeth. A bridge is a set of artificial teeth that are anchored to the teeth that are closest to the gap in a patient's smile. The two teeth that are used as anchors are typically fitted with crowns.

Bridges look just like real teeth and they are often more comfortable than dentures.

3. Implants

An implant is the next best thing when a person loses a real tooth. These devices replace the part of the tooth that rests above the gums as well as its root. An implant is a metal rod that is surgically attached to the patient's jawbone. It is typically given several months to fuse securely with the surrounding bone tissue. This process is called osseointegration.

Once the implant is secure, a crown is placed on an abutment on the external-facing end. Once the crown is fitted, the implant is as good as a real tooth. The connection it makes with the jawbone keeps the jaw properly stimulated so there is no bone tissue loss. Unlike dentures and bridges, which often have complicated maintenance routines, implants only require good oral hygiene to keep them in tip-top condition.

Dealing with a missing tooth? Get your smile restored immediately. Set up a consultation with one of our dentists and explore all your options.

Let's get started…

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Smiles Dental Care, request an appointment in our Mountain View dental office here: Or call us at (650) 563-1180.

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