In the last entry, I tried to convince you to save a tooth as opposed to removing it because of all of the problems that can occur when you take it out. But, there are situations when we can’t save a tooth. These are:
1) The tooth is so decayed that very little tooth structure is left after all of the decay is removed. In other words, it’s not worth renovating the house if it’s in such poor condition…better off tearing it down.
2) There is a problem with the gums and bone (foundation) holding the tooth in. For instance, if the house is on a poor foundation (swampland), then it may be wobbling around and not be able to be saved.
In other words, sometimes a tooth just can’t be saved! But as discussed in the last entry, if a gap is left in the mouth, certain problems can arise. So let’s discuss the different options that are available to replace a tooth before any problems occur.
One or more teeth can be replaced by the following means:
1) A dental implant: this is the most desirable way and can be used to replace 1 or more teeth.
2) A fixed bridge: this is a ‘prosthesis’ that can’t be removed. It is cemented on to the teeth on either side of the gap. It can be used to replace 1 or more teeth. If the teeth on either side of the gap are ‘weak’ and not holding firm in the bone, then we are not able to make a ‘fixed’ bridge.
3) A removable denture: This is made of either metal or acrylic depending how strong the remaining teeth are and how well they are anchored in to the bone. It can be used to replace 1 or more teeth. If the teeth are ‘weak’ and not holding firm in the bone, we have to make an acrylic ( plastic ) denture, not a metal one, which is the more desirable of the two.
4) Orthodontics: braces can be used to close gaps in the mouth.
In addition, if a tooth tips or ‘inclines’ in to a space where a tooth is missing, it can be repositioned to it’s original place with braces. Once the tooth is back in its original position, we can think of filling in the gap with either option 1, 2, or 3 above.
My preference is usually an implant, for reasons we’ll explore in the next entry!
Replacing missing teeth can improve your appearance, confidence and health. Contact us at (905)-791-3867 for a pressure-free consultation today.
We welcome new patients, walk-ins and dental emergencies.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Dr Axelrad and Staff