Dealing with missing teeth can be painful and embarrassing. You may be afraid to smile because you're self-conscious about the gap in your mouth. Luckily, there are many treatment options for people who are missing teeth. Here are four options you can consider:
1. Dental implants
Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth. When you decide to get dental implants, your oral surgeon will place a titanium rod into your jawbone thorough your gums. Later, your prosthetic tooth will be installed onto this rod. Although the placement of dental implants is oral surgery, it can be performed as an outpatient procedure without general anesthesia, according to Colgate; this means you'll be able to drive yourself home after the treatment, and you'll have less downtime. Once your mouth heals after having your implants installed, you can treat your dental implants just like any other teeth.
Dentures are a good option if you're missing all or most of your teeth. Although partial dentures can be made for less severe tooth loss, implants are usually a better option since they're permanent and less cumbersome. To get dentures, a specialist will have to measure your mouth and take some impressions of your gums and teeth. It's very important that your dentures fit well, otherwise they won't be comfortable. From start to finish, the process of getting dentures can take several weeks.
3. Dental bridges
Dental bridges are a compromise between dentures and implants. Although they're not a permanent option, bridges aren't removable like dentures. When you decide to get a dental bridge, your dentist will put crowns on the teeth to either side of your missing tooth. Those crowns will then be used to secure a false tooth between them. This is an option if you're only missing one tooth, but it has the downside of interfering with some of your other, healthy teeth.
Unfortunately, veneers can't replace teeth that are completely missing. However, if you have partial teeth or chipped teeth, veneers might be a good option for you. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are bonded to the front of damaged teeth. There needs to be enough tooth left for the veneer to adhere to, but this is a less invasive option than extraction of a damaged tooth. Whenever possible, it's best to preserve your natural teeth rather than remove them.
Modern dentistry has come a long way, and you don't have to deal with holes in your smile. Talk to your dentist about your implant dentistry options, and he can help you figure out which one is right for you.