Missing teeth could be causing you a number of problems. You might not be able to chew food thoroughly, which could lead to digestive problems. The space might make talking difficult. There is also a more exposed area of your gums which could increase your chances of tooth decay and periodontal disease. Other teeth might start to move in your mouth, which could lead to jaw and bone problems. Depending on the number of teeth missing and the other supporting structures in your mouth you might be a candidate for a bridge or dentures.
Bridges:A bridge may be helpful in closing a gap when the surrounding teeth are in good shape. This will help maintain the shape of your face and give you a larger surface area for chewing food. Filling the empty space will also keep the other teeth in place and lessen the likelihood of their falling out as well.
A bridge consists of artificial teeth that bridge the gap where your natural teeth used to be. Most bridges are placed permanently in the mouth. Some bridges involve reshaping the surrounding teeth, crowning them and attaching an artificial tooth to the crown. Other bridges do not involve as much preparation of the surrounding teeth and are often used to replace missing front teeth.
Dentures:Dentures are a removable replacement for your missing teeth and may be needed if there has been damage to the supporting tissue in your mouth. Full dentures replace all of your teeth, while partial dentures fill in spaces created by missing teeth.Some dentures are put in your mouth after your teeth have been removed and the removal site has healed, while other dentures can be placed the same day that your teeth are removed.
As with all of your natural teeth, bridges and dentures still require a high degree of oral hygiene to remove bacteria and prevent infection. Whether you are a candidate for bridges or dentures depends on the remaining teeth in your mouth as well as the underlying gum and bone structures. Choose a prosthodontist who will examine your mouth and help you determine which type of tooth replacement system is best for you.
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