Artificial Chompers: Know Your Options

If you have missing teeth, you may feel embarrassed about socializing or dating. You may also feel as though your diet is limited because of the difficulty you have in eating certain foods. However, you don’t have to live with missing teeth.  Whether you only need to replace one or two missing teeth or an entire replacement set, you have tooth replacement options that will fit your needs and your budget.

Smiling Lips

Dental Implants
If you are seeking permanent replacement of missing teeth, dental implants have several advantages over other options. Unlike dentures, dental implants do not require adhesives and need not be removed. The surgery is often less painful than tooth extraction. Once they are in place, dental implants look and perform just like your natural teeth, and allow you to eat and speak normally and are designed to last a lifetime.

Dental implants can also improve both your looks and your confidence. Dental implants may take years off your appearance by reversing the effects of sunken cheeks and gums that can result from missing teeth. Dental implants may also restore your natural jaw line, which can also shave years off your appearance.

George Washington had them. His dentures were reportedly carved from wood, and supposedly were extremely painful. Fortunately, denture technology has advanced since George’s day.  Depending on your insurer and the nature of your tooth loss, your dental insurance policy or your health insurance policy may cover the cost.

However, dentures still have the problem of slippage, even when they fit well. Also, when you are wearing dentures, you may produce embarrassing whistling and clicking noises when you eat or speak. Socializing and dating may also produce embarrassment if the occasion arises where you must remove your dentures. Finally, once you have lost your teeth, your gums begin to recede, and your jawbone starts to erode, which can produce a sunken appearance to your face that can add years to your appearance.

Partials and Bridges
If you have only lost one or two teeth, your dentist may recommend a partial dental plate or a bridge containing one or two replacement teeth. However, for partials and bridges to fit properly, it is often necessary to file down the adjacent teeth, which may otherwise be sound and healthy.  As a result, your long-term oral health may be adversely affected. In addition, depending on the location of your partials, you may face a similar level of embarrassment with friends or a romantic partner as you would with dentures if you ever need to remove them away from home.

Temporary Tooth Replacements
So-called “snap on” tooth replacements fit over your natural teeth, producing a more cosmetically appealing smile. Fitted by a professional dentist, these temporary tooth replacements do not require drilling or adhesives. The custom fitted plates allow you to eat and drink while they are in place. You can insert and remove them in a single motion. However, these temporary tooth replacements are not a viable option if you have several missing teeth. They must also be replaced periodically, and the cost of obtaining such temporary tooth replacements is usually not covered by dental or health insurance.

Leonardo Dawson

Leonardo Dawson is an avid blogger who likes to write about health issues. His articles appear on various medical websites.

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