What happens if the tooth needs to be pulled(extracted)? 🙁 That is certainly an unfortunate situation, but we have tooth replacement options for such cases
There are three options to replace a missing tooth(or teeth) and they are:
1. Bridge (Fixed Partial Denture)
2. Dental Implants (Implants)
3. Removable (Dentures)
Options 1 and 2 are strongly recommended for a single tooth replacement whereas Option 3 is recommended for multiple teeth replacements.
1. Bridge (FPD): It is an option where teeth adjacent to missing space are used as anchors and a fake tooth is hung between said anchors just like a real-life bridge!
The advantages of this option are that it can be completed relatively quickly (~2-4 weeks) and that it does not require surgeries.
The disadvantages of the bridge is that adjacent teeth need to be reduced and that should a problem occur with one of the teeth that is holding the bridge, the whole bridge needs to be fixed/redone.
Also the bridge is not recommended if the adjacent anchor teeth are unhealthy and/or “loose.”
2. Dental Implants: It is an option where a titanium “screw” (fixture) is placed inside the bone and fake tooth (“crown” or “cap”) is placed on top of it.
The advantages of this option are that the adjacent teeth do not need to be reduced and that it is longer lasting if proper care is taken. Also should a problem occur, it is easy to fix/replace.
The disadvantages of the implant are that it requires surgeries and that it takes a longer time compared to other options (3-4 months or longer).
The availability of implants depends on the bone anatomy around the missing space, so a careful examination is a must.
3. Removable or Dentures: It is an option where a dental prosthesis that one can insert and remove as needed is used as a replacement.
As I have mentioned above, because of required minimum size of the denture, it is only recommended if multiple teeth (3-4 and more) are missing.
The advantage of this option is that it is relatively less costly.
The disadvantage of dentures are that it requires many visits to make and adjust to patient’s comfort and that overall patient satisfaction is lower compared to other options due to many different reasons.
There are many other different kinds and options such as implant-supported dentures so thorough explanations and complete understanding of available options are needed when deciding which options would work the best for you.
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