Tooth Replacement Devices

People with lost teeth may find it difficult to eat or speak properly. Nutritional deficits can rob a person of their overall health. In addition, the inability to verbally communicate with clarity can make it difficult to enjoy life.

Still, there are additional reasons that lost teeth are problematic. When a tooth is lost, a gap is left in the mouth. There is no support for the cheeks at the site of the lost tooth. As a result, the cheeks and facial structure around the gap in the mouth may sag or appear worn.

The loss of teeth also affects the appearance of the patient's smile. Unless the lost teeth are replaced, the patient's confidence can suffer. Nevertheless, there are many ways to replace lost teeth. Here are a few of them:

Dental Bridges

Traditional dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. The bridges are comprised of one or more false teeth and two dental crowns-- one each end of the bridge. 

The crowns are used to hold the bridge in position. The bridge's stabilization is important, because without it, the bridge's movement in the mouth would make it ineffective at chewing or aiding in speech. 

The crowns are placed over the teeth that border the space from the missing teeth. The teeth are reduced in size to permit the placement of the crowns.

Once the crowns are cemented to the teeth, the bridge is held firmly in position. The crowns are usually tooth-colored, so they, along with the rest of the dental bridge, are difficult to discern from natural teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are also used to replace missing teeth. An implant replaces the roots of a missing tooth.

If an implant is used in the replacement of a single tooth, the implant must be covered by an abutment and a dental crown. However, if an implant is used in conjunction with another tooth-replacement device, such as a bridge or an implant-supported denture, the implant is covered by the device.

A bridge crown can be placed over a dental implant, just as it can be placed over a natural tooth. In addition, implant-supported dentures include a mechanism on the underside of the appliances to connect to underlying implants. Since implants are placed inside the jawbone, they are stable within the mouth and can stabilize attached appliances. 

For more information about tooth-replacement applications, schedule a consultation with a professional such as Scott W. Murphy, D.M.D., P.A.