When a tooth is lost, both the part of the tooth you an see in your mouth, called the crown, and the root, which goes into your jaw, are lost. Like your tooth, a dental implant has two parts. There is a part that goes into the your jaw like a root, and a part that shows in your mouth and looks like a tooth.
A dental implant is placed in the jaw so that it can join with your natural bone, making it stronger. Implants can be used to replace an individual tooth, several teeth individually or to support a bridge or denture.
REPLACING MISSING TEETH
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There are many reasons to replace missing teeth. Your number one reason might be to improve your smile. Looks are important, but when you replace missing teeth, it helps you chew and talk.
It is better to replace teeth sooner, rather than wait. Why? When a tooth has been missing for a while, the teeth that are on either side of the space can move into into the space. They will take up room the replacement tooth needs. Or, the tooth on the opposite jaw might start dropping into the open space. This will change your bite and can lead to jaw problems, known as TMJ problems.
There are several ways to replace missing teeth. These include dental implants, crown and bridgework, removable partial dentures and removable complete dentures. The way you replace a missing tooth or missing teeth depends on your particular need. Dr. Ludwig will recommend what is best for you. Feel free to ask him questions.
These procedures last a long time and contribute to your total well-being.
Dental bridges literally make a bridge over the space left when one or more teeth are missing. They stay in your mouth, so they are called fixed bridges.
One or two teeth on each side of the space have crowns put on them. These can be on your natural teeth or on implants. The crowned teeth hold a "fake tooth or fake teeth" between them.
Fixed bridges can be made from gold, porcelain, or other tooth-colored material or a combination.
REMOVABLE COMPLETE DENTURES
REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURES
A complete denture is removable and replaces every tooth and the gum tissue around them.
A traditional or conventional complete denture is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal. It is given about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.
An immediate complete denture is made and then, the teeth are removed. The denture is given the same day. You need to come in more often for adjustments as your gum tissue is healing. The denture is replaced sooner than a conventional complete denture after the gum tissue heals.
Unlike fixed bridges, removable partial dentures replace missing teeth with an appliance that can be taken out of your mouth. The replacement teeth are attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases. A partial denture usually has a metal framework and clasps that connect to your teeth. There are more natural looking connectors, too.
Some teeth may need to have crowns put on them in to help your removable partial denture fit better.