One might have a missing tooth due to various reasons such as grossly decayed teeth , some gum disease , trauma , genetic condition or due to various other reasons.

A missing tooth regardless of the cause should be replaced .

Why should we replace a missing tooth ?

  • For aesthetic reason – a missing tooth may decrease your self confidence and make you conscious about your smile .
  • For functional purpose – teeth specially molars play an important role in mastication.
  • To prevent migrationof other tooth – to prevent opposing teeth from over erupting into the space created by the missing tooth . And also to prevent shifting of the nearby tooth in the missing tooth’s place .
  • To prevent bone loss – once the tooth is removed the bone in that area starts to resorb.

What can be done to replace a missing tooth

There are various options for replacing a missing tooth having its own set of advantages and disadvantages . It includes

  • A fixed bridge
  • Implant
  • Removable partial denture
  • Removable complete denture

Fixed bridge

A fixed bridge is a prosthesis which replaces a missing tooth / teeth by utilizing the support from the adjacent teeth .

Procedure

  1. The tooth on both the sides of the missing tooth’s place is trimmed or modified such that a crown /cap can be placed over it .
  2. Impression of the area is taken and bite is recorded whenever necessary .
  3. The lab technician makes a bridge
  4. On the next visit the bridge is placed on the patients mouth and checked for any adjustments if required .
  5. Then the bridge is cemented on the supporting ( abutment ) tooth with a pontic ( missing tooth replacement ) in between

Advantage

  • Feel and look like a natural teeth
  • Gets fixed
  • Cheaper than implants

Disadvantages

  • Requires alerting of the adjacent tooth from which support its to be taken .
  • A poorly fitted bridge can slowly damage the adjoining teeth .

Removable partial denture

This is a removable appliance which has replaced teeth embedded in a resin base.

This is generally done when fixed bridges are not possible in that particular patient eg when there is no tooth on one side of the tooth to be replaced .

This procedure requires around two to three visits to the dentist.  The replaced teeth are like natural teeth and the base is also designed to follow the contour of the underlying tissue and to match the color of the gums / gingiva .

Advantage

  • Looks like a natural teeth
  • Cheaper
  • Easy to replace

Disadvantages

  • People take time to get adjusted to it
  • Some people might find it uncomfortable
  • They are not fixed
  • They need to be removed and cleaned separately

Dental implants

These are prosthesis which look and function like a natural tooth .

Here a screw like thing is embedded into the bone and above it a crown portion is fixed after a certain period of time .

A dental implant consists of two parts .

  • A Screw shaped post ( which may be made up of titanium ) which is placed below the gum line and
  • a crown ( tooth like structure) is placed over it..

It is a time taking procedure but once set they become like natural teeth .

Advantage

  • Gets fixed just like a natural teeth
  • No need of adjusting the adjacent teeth
  • Long lasting

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Time taking procedure ( more than a month)
  • Involves a surgical procedure

Complete denture

It is a prosthesis which is given when the tooth in the entire arch is to be replaced. These are removable and consist of artificial teeth which looks like natural ones embedded in a resin base . This procedure requires multiple pt visit ( 6 to 7 times ) .

Advantage

  • Budget friendly
  • Entire tooth replacement
  • Easy repair and replacement

Disadvantages

  • It has to be removed and cleaned every time
  • Patient takes time to adjust

Milestone dental care is well equipped and has an experienced Dr providing all of the above treatments.  There are also specialists visiting the clinic to perform implant procedure .