When you have missing teeth, you definitely want to replace them. It’s not an uncommon condition either: Only 48% of adults aged 20-64 have all of their permanent teeth. Having missing teeth in your mouth has plenty of effects on your appearance and health. One of the biggest effects of missing teeth is that it changes your facial structure, causing your cheeks to look sunken.
Missing teeth also affect your bite. You may find that you can’t eat quite the same anymore without all of your teeth. You do have options to replace your missing teeth, the biggest of which is a partial denture and a bridge. The providers at Bucktown Dental explain more about these options and how to choose which one is right for you.
Causes of missing teeth
You can have a missing tooth due to several reasons. One of the most common reasons for missing a tooth is decay. If your teeth become severely decayed, you can end up losing a tooth.
Other reasons for missing teeth include the following:
- Hypodontia (a condition in which the secondary teeth never come in, which affects 1 in 5 teeth)
- Oligodontia (when 6 or more teeth are missing)
- Anodontia (when your secondary teeth never come in)
- Poor dental hygiene
- Poor nutrition
- Gum disease
If you have missing teeth, you can and should do something about it.
The effects of missing teeth
If some of your teeth are missing, you might think you can just live with them and learn to adapt. But the reason you shouldn’t just try to live with having missing teeth includes the following important reasons. A missing tooth:
- Affects your bite and chewing patterns
- Weakens jaw muscles
- Causes other teeth to migrate, even if there’s one missing tooth
- Leads to further bone loss
- Changes the structure of your face
- Impacts your self-esteem
- Is linked to further health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke
Having a missing tooth has a lot of effects on your health, so you should replace it as soon as possible.
The partial denture option
Partial dentures are a single fixed appliance that you can place in your mouth. They’re also removable so that you can clean them underneath.
Getting a partial denture is a process that has five 5 steps. They are as follows:
- The dentist takes an impression of your mouth, which plans the best option
- The dentist takes a final impression of your mouth, which is sent to the lab
- The trial phase, when you get to wear your partial denture home and see which shade and shape you want
- Tooth try-in phase, when you try on the selected teeth and framework
Partial dentures are a very affordable option for replacing missing teeth. However, many people find it a less desirable choice because it doesn’t look natural and you can feel the dentures in your mouth. It’s also a less invasive option than getting a bridge.
Getting a bridge
A bridge is a permanent solution to the problem of missing teeth. Getting a bridge includes the following steps:
- The teeth surrounding the one(s) to be replaced are filed down to make room for the bridge
- The dentist takes impressions of your teeth and sends them to a lab
- You’ll be fitted for a temporary bridge, which you’ll wear until the permanent bridge come in
- Your final bridge will be cemented in place 1-2 weeks later, if you like the results
Bridges are permanent solutions, so you can’t remove them. But you will need to floss differently around them, which the dental hygienist will show you how to do.
Whether you choose a partial denture or a bridge, either one will suit your needs very well. If you’re missing teeth and are looking to replace them, contact the providers at Bucktown Dental or request an appointment online.