Missing teeth can ruin your smile, but the continued evolution of cosmetic dentistry gives you more options for replacing these teeth with realistic looking replicas than ever before. Not only will a replacement tooth improve the immediate appearance of your mouth, it can also increase dental health. This is because a missing tooth can cause your teeth to shift and become crooked. It can even result in bone loss, which changes the entire appearance of your jaw and face. The following guide can help you determine which replacement option is for you.
Partials are removable just like full dentures. Replacement teeth are affixed to a frame, which slides over your remaining teeth to hold them in place. A partial can hold one tooth or several, which makes it a viable option regardless of the extent of your tooth loss. To create a partial, your dentist takes an impression of your mouth and then crafts crowns to fill in any gaps. These are then fitted to the frame. Unlike other options, partials must be removed when you sleep.
Partials are painless to install, but they can take some adjustment and be uncomfortable at first. They are also more prone to breakage than other options. Partials are also the least expensive option, so a good choice for a budget.
A fixed bridge consists of one or more false teeth, or crowns, attached to a frame. This frame is then permanently cemented to the backs of the teeth on either side of the site of missing teeth. This means that bridges are only viable options when there are neighboring teeth on each side of the replacement area. Another installation method involves filing down the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. A crown is then made for each of these teeth, with a crown to replace the missing tooth attached between the two. The side crowns are then fitted over the remaining teeth and cemented into place, where they support the missing tooth.
The advantages of a bridge is that they are generally quick to install and there is no healing time involved. You also don't need to remove them – they look and function like natural teeth. They are less expensive than implants, but they do generally cost more than a partial denture.
This is your single best choice for a replacement tooth. A metal post, called the implant, is surgically inserted into your jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. It is allowed to heal in place, and then your dentist affixes a crown to the top. This crown looks and works just like a natural tooth, so no special care is required.
Crowns are the most time consuming replacement option, since it generally takes multiple visits for full installation. They are also usually the most expensive option. They are also the only option that prevents further bone loss in your jaw, so that you don't have to worry about your face shape changing.
As an elderly care worker, I have witnessed the deaths of many individuals. I have seen family members become angry, sad, and completely silent at the end. I have also seen individuals refuse to see family members out of denial. People deal with death in different ways, and the strong emotions are often unfamiliar and scary. If you have a parent or grandparent who is elderly, then I want to share with you what I know about end of life care and dying process. We are a society that does not talk about death, and this can cause great pain when a family member dies. Learn about the process and find out how to deal with your own emotions and how to love your family members at the end. If there is only a small amount of time left, then I want you to cherish the final moments.