Treatments for Missing Teeth
By Fernando Garcia on May 24, 2018
When you are missing teeth, it can compromise the appearance of your smile, causing feelings of self-consciousness. More importantly, missing teeth can significantly change your bite and have a negative impact on your jaw joints.
At Tijuana Bariatrics in Tijuana, Mexico, our dental team offers a variety of treatments for missing teeth, such as dentures, bridges, and dental implants. All of these options are effective, but dental implants are the gold standard in tooth replacement treatment.
Here, we discuss these options and explore how teeth replacement can preserve your oral health (and confidence) for years to come.
The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
The teeth, gums, jaw joints, and all supporting structures work together harmoniously for optimal oral health. When one of these elements is missing, it can lead to a domino effect of problems.
If a tooth is lost, the adjacent teeth begin to move and shift gradually over time. This can lead to changes in your bite, making you more susceptible to decay, gum disease, tooth erosion, TMJ disorder, and more. Replacing teeth can stabilize your bite and reestablish normal function.
The fastest and most affordable method for replacing missing teeth is a removable partial or full denture. Crafted from acrylic, dentures rest atop the gums for support.
While full dentures replace an entire arch of missing teeth, partial dentures can replace multiple missing teeth in sporadic locations.
Dentures are durable, but they will not last forever. In most cases, patients will need to replace their prostheses every seven to 10 years.
Used in dentistry for decades, fixed traditional bridges are designed to replace one to three consecutive teeth. Today, most bridges are made from tooth-colored materials for a natural-looking result.
This restoration consists of two dental crowns and artificial teeth (pontics) between them. The crowns are connected to the natural teeth on either side of the space, and the pontics fill in the gap for a seamless smile.
Today, dental implants are widely considered to be the most successful and predictable teeth replacement option on the market. What makes dental implants different? These small titanium posts are designed to replace the roots of the missing teeth.
When natural teeth roots are missing, the surrounding jawbone begins to deteriorate over time. However, because dental implants can mimic the micromovements of natural tooth roots, they stimulate nerves in the bone to keep it healthy. Therefore, dental implants not only preserve your existing jawbone density, they also prevent further bone loss from occurring.
Dental implants are incredibly versatile. In fact, they can be restored with crowns, bridges, or dentures, depending on the unique needs of the individual.
A single missing tooth can be effectively replaced with one dental implant and a crown. Unlike a traditional bridge, a dental implant does not require the alteration of natural tooth structure, keeping healthy tissue intact. Simply stated, a dental implant is a one-tooth solution to a one-tooth problem.
An implant-supported bridge is nearly identical to its traditional counterpart. The difference, of course, is that while a conventional bridge is connected to natural teeth, an implant-based bridge is connected to dental implants for support.
Patients who have worn traditional dentures for a prolonged period of time can understand the many challenges that come with this type of appliance. Over time, the jawbone loses density. As a result, the denture can become loose or wobbly.
Implant-supported dentures directly address this issue. These prostheses are supported by dental implants rather than the gum tissue and underlying bone. Using two to six implants per arch, our doctors can provide fixed or removable full-arch restorations.
Learn More about Teeth Replacement
If you are self-conscious about gaps or spaces in your smile, we can help you find a solution. To explore your treatment options, schedule a consultation at Tijuana Bariatrics. You can contact us online anytime or give us a call at (800) 308-3607.