Missing teeth should be replaced for functional as well as esthetic reasons. Dentures, bridges or implants are options to replace missing teeth. Partial or complete dentures remain the most economical means of replacing single or multiple missing teeth. Dentures lack support and stability; therefore, they are the least functional prosthetic device. Dentures should be considered as an interim rather than a permanent solution to replacing teeth.
Bridges fill in the spaces when a tooth or multiple teeth are missing. It is a permanent solution and is anchored in place by modifications to the adjacent teeth. By design, bridges require support from teeth on both sides of the missing tooth. Therefore, a bridge cannot be used where there is a weak abutment or when the missing tooth is the terminal tooth. Bridges are strong. When done properly, bridges will meet both the functional and esthetic requirements of a prosthetic tooth.
Implants are the most advanced and the most versatile option to replace a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. Made of the strongest biocompatible metal, implants are titanium posts embedded permanently into the jawbone. They can then be used as the substructure to attach a single artificial tooth, or become part of a framework to support a bridge or a denture. An implant is a more conservative method to replacing a single missing tooth as the neighbouring teeth are not damaged in the process. Missing teeth replaced by implant treatment are strong and secure, and will meet both functional and esthetic demands.
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