Tooth replacement has significant benefits. It restores the patient's smile and ability to chew and speak. It also maintains face shape, distributes biting forces and prevents remaining teeth from shifting out of position.
There are multiple options patients have to replace missing teeth.
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The implants themselves are small titanium posts, which are surgically inserted into the jawbone by an oral surgeon where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for tooth replacement. The crown placed over the implant is done by Dr. Dunbar.
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A bridge literally bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth. These anchor teeth, better known as abutment crowns are connected by one or more false teeth in order to bridge the gap.
While implants and bridges are types of fixed restorations, partials are designed to be removable. Partials typically have metal framework and the teeth are acrylic. Metal clasps hold partials in place by hooking onto remaining natural teeth. Partial dentures are an affordable option to patients who wish to replace multiple teeth at the same time.
Patients can become entirely edentulous (without teeth) for many reasons, typically relating to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Complete dentures are worn by patients who are missing all of their teeth in a single arch or in both arches. Implants can be used as an anchor for dentures to fit better.