Many people have one or two teeth missing in their mouth. This can happen for a number of reasons including accidental impact to a tooth and the presence of gum disease. If this applies to you then you may be wondering whether you should have the missing tooth or teeth replaced.
The choice is a personal one. However, it's useful to understand the impact of missing teeth, and the options for replacement, when you are making a decision.
The impact of having missing teeth
It's possible to not notice any impact if you have one or two teeth missing in your mouth. However, teeth that are missing can start to cause problems over time. These problems can have an adverse effect on your speech and the way that you eat.
As you adjust the way that you chew, to deal with any issues, you can cause other teeth in your mouth to shift and put strain on your facial muscles. This can lead to pain and tooth sensitivity.
With these issues in mind, it often makes sense to have a tooth, or a couple of teeth, replaced. There are several methods of doing this that you should consider.
Methods of replacing teeth in your mouth
There are three common methods of replacing one or two teeth in your mouth. They all have pros and cons.
This method is useful if you have several teeth that need replacing, or a couple of teeth need replacing in different parts of your mouth. A metal post or frame is inserted into the jaw and a replacement tooth is mounted onto this implant.
The biggest advantages of this option are that an implant closely resembles a natural tooth and can last for decades. Disadvantages include the significant cost of this treatment and the fact that the treatment is not suitable for everyone. For instance, if you have gum disease, you may not be able to have this treatment.
If you have one or two teeth missing in the same area of your mouth, you may be able to have a dental bridge fitted. The bridge is attached to surrounding teeth and bonded using dental cement.
The main advantages of this option are that it's often more affordable than implants and the bridge has the appearance of natural teeth. There are also disadvantages of having a bridge fitted. The main disadvantage is that it can be difficult to clean the area around the bridge.
Partial dentures that can be removed
You may associate having dentures with needing a full set of false teeth. However, partial dentures are an option, if you only need a couple of teeth replacing. The dentures are attached to a base which is made to look as natural as possible.
The biggest advantage of partial dentures is that they are removable. This makes it easy for them to re repaired and replaced. It's also easy to clean your mouth when the dentures are removed. The downside of wearing partial dentures is that they can be uncomfortable to wear. They are also sometimes difficult to keep stable in your mouth.
If you only have one or two teeth missing in your mouth, you may decide not to have them replaced. However, this can lead to problems such as pain and tooth sensitivity. If you decide to have the teeth replaced, you have several options. You should speak to a dental professional, to discuss which is the best option for you.