If you're missing one or more teeth, you may feel self-conscious or have trouble eating. Chances are, you'd like to find a replacement, but you may not be aware of the options that exist. Even knowing where to start can be intimidating. Fortunately for you, there are a number of tooth replacement methods available. Keep reading for an overview of what to do when you lose teeth as an adult. Once you know what's out there, you can make an informed decision regarding the option that's right for you.
When it comes to teeth replacement options, dental implants are a popular choice. They are a replacement for your natural tooth root to which a denture, crown, or bridge is affixed. The implant is inserted into the jawbone. These are a long-term solution that looks and performs much like natural teeth. They're comfortable and can be permanent. They also are the only tooth replacement choice that prevents jawbone erosion. Unfortunately, implants can be quite expensive. They also require numerous invasive dental visits for treatment.
A common alternative to implants is the bridge. It is made up of two crowns that are fitted onto the teeth on each side of the gap. It's a particularly good choice if you're missing only one tooth, but a bridge can support a gap of multiple teeth. Replacement teeth are attached to the crowns. They are cemented into position. Typically, they are made from a combination of metal alloys and porcelain. A bridge feels much like your own teeth and can be quite functional. It's far less expensive than implants.
If you have one missing tooth or multiple ones that aren't next to each other, a partial denture may be worth consideration. They can have a base that is made from acrylic or nylon. The base is typically a similar color to natural gums. The prosthetic teeth are attached to the base. There may be metal or nylon clasps to help hold the appliance in place. The clasps fit over your existing teeth and allow the dentures to be easily removed. This is an effective and cost-saving option that is popular with many. It's a non-invasive procedure, which can make it quite appealing. Partial dentures can sometimes cause discomfort and may make eating more difficult.
Complete dentures are much like partial dentures. They're usually made of an acrylic base with prosthetic teeth attached. They sit on top of the gums. Full dentures provide support to the face and cheeks left by missing teeth. They can make eating much easier than having no teeth at all, though some foods may cause problems, such as those that are sticky or hard. They're also quite affordable. As the jawbone changes, full acrylic dentures can be relined or adjusted in order to provide a better fit. Unfortunately, dentures can slide around or be uncomfortable in the mouth. Adhesives can also be messy or ineffective.
If you need a temporary solution for one or more missing teeth, a flipper denture may be a good option. It can help you to feel more confident until you're able to get a preferable replacement. Flippers are relatively inexpensive. They are made before your teeth are even removed. This allows you to use them immediately after tooth extraction so that you don't need to go for any amount of time without the appearance of teeth. They're lightweight and easy to wear; however, flippers aren't very stable and can break easily. They're quite useful while waiting for another treatment to be completed.
You can purchase temporary veneers as a teeth replacement option that doesn't require a dental visit. They are not painful or invasive. These appliances simply fit over your natural teeth. You can be fitted for them with a mold you complete at home and return in the mail. Then your veneers are created and sent to you. They clip on easily. This is a great alternative for those who want a more beautiful smile without the pain or anxiety of seeing a dentist. If you don't have dental insurance, this type of veneer may be perfect for you.
These are some of the more common replacement options available if you are missing teeth as an adult. Now that you understand each, you can make the decision that is best for you and your lifestyle.