What are my Options?
When you have lost larger areas of your dentition and chewing, speaking, and self-esteem are affected multiple implants can be used to restore your mouth. By using implants we can secure large areas of dentition without compromising the remaining teeth, and should those remaining natural teeth ever fail, these implants will be essential in restoring your mouth.
The best and most natural option for restoring your mouth will utilize implants. The goal of using implants will be to avoid a partial denture or long span bridges. Partial dentures are bulky and long span bridges may not have the longevity you are looking for. You can read more below about these options. An implant bridge will avoid damage to the rest of your natural teeth, provide you with unwavering support, and are a fixed permanent solution for large areas of missing teeth.
Here are some other options:
One of the options is to do nothing and leave the spaces. This may add character for some people but more often creates insecurities in most. There are several disadvantages to not replacing large areas of dentition beyond appearance. The larger the area missing the more shifting teeth will do. As these teeth shift, pressure is also shifted onto other teeth in a detrimental way. Opposing teeth (teeth from below or above) will migrated into the empty space. Teeth in the same arch will tilt forward or backward causing food traps and potentially decay on otherwise healthy teeth. The forces of the mouth are not balanced properly causing other teeth to take more of a beating as they absorb more force than they were originally intended to. Think about the foundation to your home. If you start to remove supports floors will begin to dip and sink and other supports will begin to break down faster as they take on more pressure.
Removable Partial Denture
Another option is a removable partial denture. While this is an affordable and economical option to replace multiple teeth we find that the discomfort associated with having a bulky prosthetic in your mouth is not for everyone. Speech and taste can be affected, and getting used to a partial can take a strong mental and physical commitment.
Long Span Fixed Bridge
Another option is to utilize a long span fixed bridge. Long span fixed bridges can be utilized in certain cases but are usually not the best option for everyone. While it replaces teeth, it does not preserve bone in the jaw bone. We also must grind or prepare the healthy teeth supporting the bridge in order to place a fixed bridge. Also with long span fixed bridges we are using two or more healthy teeth to support the area of 4 or 5 teeth. This puts tremendous pressure on the remaining teeth being used to support the bridge. Care must be taken to assess if these teeth can support the load. Finally the longer the span the less longevity and the more risk or complications involved in the prosthetic. Bridges have the potential for decay, fracture, or periodontal issues as cleaning them properly can take extra care at home.