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When a patient is missing teeth (a condition known as a partially edentulous arch), it is absolutely imperative that they do something about it. Delayed treatment is never a good idea, because the medical consequences of doing nothing are worse most people immediately assume.
Missing teeth cause other teeth to grow out of alignment. They also cause cheek muscles to cave in and wrinkle. A person will often start to look older than they really are, and the jaw bone will begin to deteriorate without a tooth root to grown around.
This is not a good situation for a person to be in.
Fortunately, there are several options that people for people with partially edentulous arches. These options are as follows:
Implant-supported crowns or a bridge
There are many different types of dental bridges that you can have placed in your mouth. These can be very effective substitutes for missing teeth. In order to consider a bridge, however, we have to first look at what it is by definition.
A dental bridge is basically an artificial tooth that is attached to teeth on either side of the gap in your smile. Such teeth work as anchors and hold the bridge in place to provide support. A bridge is much more stable and secure because it is fixed in the mouth.
A dental bridge, though, can have a negative impact on surrounding teeth. This is because the bridge must be anchored to teeth around the gap, and the tooth surfaces on those teeth must be reduced in order to mount the bridge in place. Teeth become more vulnerable to decay as a result. In severe instances, root canals will have to be done on many of these teeth.
Such a bridge is called a fixed or non-removable bridge. It is mostly used as a restoration for an edentulous arch. The second type of bridge is one that is supported by dental implants. It eliminates the need to use surrounding teeth as brackets. It is better for your teeth, although it is also more expensive.
People can also opt for dental implants as replacements for missing teeth. Implants use titanium posts to substitute for the tooth roots of missing teeth. These posts support a porcelain crown that is by all accounts the best possible and longest lasting tooth replacement. Not only does a crown act as a fully functional tooth, but it looks identical to surrounding teeth. The titanium post mimics a tooth root just enough to make the jawbone believe that a tooth root is still there. Bone recession is prevented as a result.
Implants surgery, however, and recovery time can be several months. They are also the most expensive of all dental implants.
Partial dentures work as missing tooth replacements. This is not the very best restoration for a partially edentulous arch, but it might be the most affordable option for people on a budge to start with. There are many types of partial dentures we can make for you. We can fit you with an all-acrylic flipper, which is a form of provisional partial denture. We may also fit you with a metal-based conventional partial denture if you prefer. For patients needing additional support for their restorations, dentures supported by implants are also used in cases.
Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont and Midland Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic denistry services that includes: