Missing teeth might have a number of reasons, but the most common reason is age. As we age, our teeth naturally wear down. This damage can make them weaker and more likely to crack or break. As a result, people may lose their teeth and need to replace them.
If a patient is missing one or more teeth, there are a variety of treatment options available. Depending on the patient’s unique circumstances, the dentist may advise the patient to have one or several different treatments.
What are the Treatment Options for Missing Teeth?
Some of the most common treatment options include:
Dental implants can be used to replace several missing teeth or an entire arch of missing teeth. Dental implants provide a long-lasting solution to your tooth loss; with proper care, a dental implant can last a lifetime. Dental implants are surgically placed into the jaw, where the implants fuse with the jaw bone. Dental implants can support dental restorations, such as dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures.
Dentures are removable appliances for patients who are missing most or all of their teeth. Dentures are custom-made to fit each patient’s mouth. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Patients typically wear dentures 24 hours a day, removing them only during meals and for cleaning.
Dental crowns, sometimes called caps, are one of the most common restorative dental treatments used to replace a missing tooth. Typically, crowns can be crafted from porcelain, metal, or zirconia and are designed to mimic the appearance and function of a natural tooth. A dental crown will be placed over a tooth that has suffered mild to moderate damage or decay but may still be salvageable. Once placed, a crown will also help maintain the strength and structure of the tooth.
A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic used to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of one or more replacement teeth linked by dental crowns. These crowns are placed on the teeth adjacent to the gap or abutment teeth. The replacement teeth, or pontics, are then cemented on the abutment teeth, creating a bridge and restoring the missing teeth.
To learn about our dental procedures, call Desert Mountain Dental at (520) 324-0100 and schedule an appointment or visit our Tucson dental office.