If you’re missing teeth at the front of your mouth, you might be quite self-conscious about it. Gaps in your smile may lead you to hide your grin in pictures or cover your mouth when you laugh. If the empty spaces are further back in your mouth, it may impair your ability to eat properly, increasing the risk of choking on large food segments. Luckily, our dental clinic in Ottawa offers several viable options to help fill in the spaces left behind by a lost tooth.
A bridge is an excellent solution when there is an empty space surrounded by two teeth. The appliance restores a full chewing surface to the portion of the mouth that had the gap. To make a bridge, a false tooth, known as the pontic tooth, is attached to two crowns on either side. The dental device is then placed over the anchor teeth, referred to as the abutment teeth. In order for the appliance to be placed effectively, the abutment teeth need to be ground into posts or nubs so the crowns can be fitted to them. If either of these teeth become compromised over the lifetime of the bridge, you run the risk of losing the entire appliance as the abutment teeth are necessary to keep it in place. It is also difficult to clean underneath a bridge.
Implants consist of two pieces, the anchor and the crown. The anchor is most often made of metal, commonly titanium, and is screwed directly into the jawbone. The crown is the visible portion of the implant, and is made to look like the missing tooth. Implants can be placed anywhere in the mouth, and do not require abutment teeth, so they are a good alternative when that is not an option. They are also a smart choice when the abutment teeth are healthy, and it is unnecessary to damage them by grinding them into the shape needed for the bridge to be applied. The downside of implants is the metal used. Metals in our mouth can cause bacteria to produce atypical toxins, adding stress to our immune system as it defends against these new toxins.
Dentures come in either full or partial sets. A full set replaces all of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw, while a partial set only replaces a few missing teeth. Partial dentures hold the false teeth in a removable plastic or metal frame. It is formed to fit comfortably around the teeth it will be beside, and may partially cover some gum tissue or the roof of the mouth. It can also have hooks to help hold the dentures in place. Cons to wearing dentures are that these hooks may be noticeable when smiling. Also, the dentures need to be removed every night to be cleaned, requiring slightly more work than a bridge or implant. Some dentures need to be held in with adhesives, and these may come loose over the course of the day or while eating tough foods.
If you are missing teeth and would like to find out what options could work for you to restore your smile, contact Family Dental Care or give us a call at 613-736-5000. Your happiness and confidence matter to us!