Missing teeth can lead to drifting of teeth around the space, causing occlusal (bite) problems. Symptoms of bite problems include trouble eating and speaking, clicking of the jaw, headaches, and jaw pain.
Options exist for tooth replacement – all have pros and cons.
A fixed bridge is cemented permanently into place, utilizing crowns on adjacent teeth. It is a very realistic option if the abutments (supporting teeth) require crowns. It can’t be used in all cases, depending on the location and size of the space to fill.
An implant can be used to replace a single tooth or support entire dentures. The treatment can be more extensive and costly, but the benefits are great. Some partially invasive surgical procedures are necessary.
A partial denture is made out of either metal, resin (plastic), or a combination. It utilizes abutment teeth and/or implants to replace any number of teeth. Minimal preparation is needed on supporting teeth; however, the prosthesis is not cemented/fixed into place. Supporting teeth can “wear out” due to increased loads.
All options are good options, and some may be more fitting for a certain condition than another. Our doctors will evaluate a variety of factors and discuss pros and cons of options with you to help reach the best decision for you.