Tooth Replacement

There are several ways your dentist can help you replace a lost tooth. Tooth replacement methods include dentures, bridges and dental implants.

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Dentures 


 

A denture is commonly known as false teeth as it replaces missing natural teeth. It can be made of plastic or a combination of metal and plastic and can be removed from the mouth by the wearer. 

Dentures improve the appearance by replacing missing front teeth and also prevent the other teeth from drifting, which can create awkward spaces that trap food. They also help you to eat better.

There are two main types of dentures: 
Partial dentures, which replace some teeth and usually have wires to help hold them in the mouth

 

Complete or full dentures, which replace all the teeth

 

Dentures are made either of plastic or cobalt chromium. Plastic is cheaper but cobalt chromium is stronger and lasts longer. A good denture will help you to eat better, speak better and look better. It needs to be properly designed to protect the remaining natural teeth.

Old dentures that no longer fit well tend to sink into the gums, giving rise to decay and gum disease. Over time the wires may no longer be in the right place and may put too much force on the teeth, which can loosen them. 

Dentures should be checked every year and replaced every three years. Broken or damaged dentures are dangerous and should never be worn.

New dentures may be uncomfortable at first, but should soon settle down. If they don’t, ask your dentist to adjust them. 

Denture Care

Take it out of the mouth to brush and rinse them after each meal
Clean it thoroughly by brushing and soak it in denture cleaner at least once a day. Clean with soap and water. Brush gently, preferably with a denture brush
Some commercial denture cleansers may tarnish metal, so consult your dentist as to which cleaners are suitable
Soak the denture in a glass of clean water when not using it in order to keep its shape
Do not attempt to alter your own dentures

Bridges 

Unlike a crown that replaces the part of the tooth seen above the gum, a bridge replaces one or more missing teeth and is made up one or more crowns, which support and carry the replacement tooth or teeth. A typical bridge will be one that consists of two crowns, one on either side of missing tooth or space, carrying a replacement tooth. However, unlike a denture, a bridge cannot be removed, except by a dentist.

Bridges are more expensive than dentures and need a little more care to maintain, but they can be expected to last many years and they feel a lot more natural than dentures.

Dental Implants

Implants are placed into the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture.

The advantages of dental implants are:
Stability: after implants are placed, they fuse to your bone and thus provide very stable support. Dentures, bridges or individual teeth mounted on implants won't slip or shift in your mouth, which is an important benefit when eating and speaking
A natural and more comfortable feel and look. The integration of the implant/s into your jaw also helps your replacement teeth feel more natural

Dental Implant Procedure

Candidates for dental implants need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implants and must be in overall good health. You will need to have some X-rays taken to determine whether there is enough bone for the implant placement.

Implant surgery usually takes less than an hour. However, it is essential for the bone to heal by fusing with the dental implant, a process known as osseointegration. This healing phase can take about three to six months before the restoration of missing teeth can take place.

Dental implant treatment can sometimes involve several dentists: you may need an oral surgeon to place the implant and another dentist to make the crown, bridge or denture. A thorough examination and diagnosis is essential for the success of the treatment. Dental implants generally range between S$3,500 and S$6,000 each depending on the complexity of the case. Consult your dentist for the exact cost of treatment.

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