Do not underestimate the effects, a missing tooth can have on your daily routine.

A tooth can go missing as a result of trauma (accident/blow), gum disease, gross decay unavoidable extractions; whatever the reason may be, a tooth is a missing part of the body that needs replacement.

  • Firstly, a lost tooth can cause disturbances in masticatory (chewing/biting) forces, due to which one may invariably chew from the unaffected side.
  • Secondly,  many lost teeth can result in a collapse of the facial features which results in wrinkles and the face will mimic old age.
  • Thirdly, an empty space created due to loss of tooth results in tipping of the adjacent teeth into the space and supra-eruption of the opposing tooth.

It is of pivotal importance that the edentulous (missing) area is replaced at the earliest.

There are four ways of replacing the missing teeth

1. Implant: Implants are made of nickle titanium and are very safe on the human bone. The screw is inserted into the bone by drilling, and the bone is formed around it to form a tight tooth root like support.

This is the most advanced, minimally invasive procedure that imitates the strength, endurance and longevity of a natural tooth. 

A.  A single lost tooth can be replaced without causing any harm to the adjacent teeth. It is the best and most effective procedure.

B. If one or more teeth are missing, two implants can be placed to replace a unit of teeth. (Three in this case)

C. Even if all the teeth are missing in older patients, and the patient has adequate bone support in the jaws, this procedure is recommended.

The screw placed here acts as a support for the denture to be fixed over it.

2. Bridge: This is the method, where adjacent strong and caries-free teeth are taken as a support to replace the missing tooth or teeth. These are called caps, and they are made of tooth coloured material, ceramic (porcelain)

3. Removable Partial Denture: it is the oldest method of tooth replacement, which is now not into wide practice. This is a denture made of a pink coloured material called acrylic, on which teeth are attached. This is not indicated as it has many shortcomings and flaws. The main flaw is, it can get loose and uncomfortable for the patient.

  • The acrylic has the tendency to alter shape hence it always has to be placed in water, else it can distort with time.
  • It is indicated in old patients, with loose teeth and patients not willing to go for other advanced treatments due to cost issues.
  • The main use of this is when the patient has compromised bone strength.

4. Complete Denture: You must have seen your grandparents wearing this.

When an individual has lost all the teeth this denture can be prepared. There are two methods of preparing it-

Conventional method: In which complete denture is fabricated using the support of jaw and cheek muscles. This can be worn throughout the day, and removed during the night time. It is easy to clean, removable and safe.

Implant support method: implants are placed in jaw bones and these are taken as a support for the complete denture, this is not removable and gets fixed to the jaw like natural teeth.

Note-  Visit your nearest dentist, for any of the above procedures at the earliest.