Options - Missing Teeth Replacement|
Replacement of missing teeth
teeth can be replaced in two ways – as removable prostheses called dentures or fixed prostheses called dental bridgework.
Dentures, also known as “flippers”, are removable false teeth made for
replacing teeth which have been lost. Dentures can be complete or partial, based on the number of teeth they replace. Dentures have helped millions of people
suffering due to loss of teeth and have been the only alternative available in replacement of
missing teeth for several decades.
Types of Dentures
1. Partial dentures - employed when one or more teeth are replaced with a removable denture. Often have clasps which engage one or more of the existing teeth to aid retention during function (chewing, speaking etc.)
2. Complete dentures
- employed when the individual has no teeth at all in a jaw. The
patient may need complete denture in one jaw or in both jaws, depending
on the missing teeth.
3. Implant supported denture
- employed when the dentures turn ill-fitting, slippery or wobbly due
to poor grip of the denture on the gums which give retention to the
denture. When the gums are deficient in height or bulk, the retention
given to the denture reduces considerably turning dentures ill-fitting.
Here, 2- 4 dental implants are used to stabilize the wobbly denture. It
does not fix the denture permanently in place, but prevents slipping of
the denture during function.
Problems with Dentures
Even though introduction of newer technologies have made dentures more patient
friendly than their older versions, many
people with removable dentures are unhappy with them for various reasons:
Chewing efficiency is greatly reduced (less than half the efficiency with
natural teeth). Altered taste and temperature sensations decrease the enjoyment of food.
Bad breath• Speech difficulties... especially in the first time users
Unwanted Sounds - Dentures at times make sounds that resemble
clicking or smacking, which can be quite embarrassing for the denture user.
Compromised chewing efficiency will restrict food intake and compromise
nutritional requirements... can seriously affect health and life spans. Nursing
homes are filled with people who keep their teeth in a drawer by their bed.
Ill fitting and problematic dentures often restrict the denture wearers’
activities. They often feel restricted socially in addition to
restriction in physical and sporting
activities. It can also affect interpersonal relations to a great
extent. Denture adhesives do not help much and are often messy.
• Dentures cannot prevent jawbone shrinkage which continues at a steady pace and turns dentures
ill-fitting. This results in "Facial collapse" which gives the elderly the aged look... In rare instances this facial collapse can be so advanced that the person can become a
dental cripple, with the face sunken and being no longer able to wear any
denture at all.
only significant advantage that dentures offer over fixed teeth solutions is
that they less expensive. Even the best quality removable dentures fabricated utilizing the latest
advancements in techniques cannot match the comfort of fixed teeth in the
Advantages of having fixed teeth
• Natural feel of teeth - functionally, cosmetically as
well as psychologically.
Chewing efficiency becomes comparable to that of natural teeth in the mouth. Taste and temperature sensations during food intake turns normal and patient starts
enjoying food in its real flavors
Dental Implants which are used to anchor the fixed artificial teeth into
mouth help prevent jaw bone loss and thereby help maintain the facial
contours, thereby preventing "facial collapse" and the aged look.
Considerably reduces problems like bleeding gums, denture sores, mouth ulcers
and bad breath
Improves interpersonal relations including sexual relations in healthy aged
couples. Patient feels younger and turns more socially acceptable. They are able to be actively
involved in sporting activities, if they are healthy to do so.
Revolutionary dental treatment
options employing a judicious mix of crowns, bridges and dental implants have
come to provide a way to solve the issues of painful, loose fitting dentures. Dental implants are the next best thing to
your original natural teeth. With the introduction of the advanced “Immediate
Loading” strategies, the dental implantologist is able to provide fixed teeth in
a matter of a few hours!
1. Conventional Bridgework -
2. Maryland bridge -
3. Implant supported crown -
4. Implant supported bridge -
5. Implant & teeth supported bridge -
| ||Implant-supported Crown |
Traditionally, crowns are attached to the existing tooth root. However, if no tooth structure exists, a surgeon can place an implant to serve as anchor and then attach a crown to it. Dental implants are small, sturdy, titanium “roots” or “anchors” that serve as a foundation for crowns, bridges, and dentures, as the root structure would serve for a natural tooth. Implants are placed into the jaw bone in a way that allows bone tissue to grow around them. Please click here to learn more about implants.
| ||Conventional Bridge |
Just like conventional crowns, conventional bridges are attached to the existing healthy teeth. However, unlike crowns, bridges usually restore more teeth than there are root structures to support. For instance, a crown can replace only one tooth while a 3-unit bridge can replace three teeth and be supported on two “anchor” teeth. Similarly, 5-unit bridge can replace five teeth and be supported on three “anchor” teeth. There have to be least two anchor teeth: one from each side of the bridge. Bridges are cemented to anchor teeth, thus making them non-removable or fixed solutions. Fixed prosthesis should be placed or removed only by a dental professional.
| ||Implant-supported Bridges |
As we have stated earlier, conventional bridges required at least two healthy anchor teeth. If none of the adjacent teeth can qualify as anchors, a surgeon must place two or more implant to serve as anchors and then attach a bridge to them. At least two implants are necessary because bridges must be attached to the anchors of similar origin: either natural teeth or implants. A combination of natural teeth and implants will weaken the bridge and it is likely to fail within a short period.
| ||Conventional Partial Dentures |
Conventional partial dentures are removable solutions designed to clasp onto the adjacent teeth. Removable partial dentures are for patients who are missing some of their teeth on a particular arch (upper or lower jaw). This type of prosthesis is referred to as a removable partial denture because patients can remove and reinsert them when required without professional help.
| ||Conventional Full Dentures |
Complete or full dentures are worn by patients who are missing their entire upper or bottom teeth. Because there are no anchor teeth for dentures to clasp onto, this type of prosthesis is designed to “hug” or wrap around the gums. For better fit and stronger hold, patients can use special temporary adhesives that are applied between the gums and full dentures.
| ||Implant-Supported Dentures|
Some of the problems associated with removable dentures include increased
salivation, sore spots on soft tissues, gagging, accumulation of dental plaque, and loss of taste. Luckily, implant technology can vastly improve the denture-wearing experience by increasing stability and retention factors. In addition, implant supported dentures allow for less gum irritation, reduce the risk of dentures slipping of patient’s mouths, and improves appearance due to less plastic required for retention purposes. Finally, patients with implant supported dentures have increased chewing efficacy and can speak more clearly.