Alternatives for a Partial Arch
When you are missing teeth, you have several choices for replacing them. Depending on your situation, you could choose—
- a bridge.
- implant-supported crowns or a bridge.
- a partial denture.
- delaying treatment.
A dental bridge is an artificial tooth that is attached to the teeth next to the space, and those teeth hold the bridge in place and provide support. A bridge is fixed in the mouth, so it’s stable and secure.
However, getting a bridge requires us to reduce the size of the supporting teeth, and reducing teeth can sometimes lead to decay and the need for root canal therapy.
A dental implant is a small titanium post that replaces the root of a missing tooth. The post holds crowns and bridges securely in the mouth. Because an implant replaces the tooth root, the implant helps maintain the health and shape of the jawbone.
However, an implant requires surgery, and it can take months to heal completely.
A partial denture is held in place by clasps or special attachments. Depending on the type of partial, the supporting teeth require only minimal preparation, and the partial is removable for sleeping and easier cleaning.
If you’re thinking of delaying treatment, you should know that when missing teeth are not replaced, the surrounding teeth can shift, causing a variety of dental problems. In addition, the jawbone will continue to shrink, making future treatment more complex and changing your appearance. Without treatment, speaking and eating properly can become increasingly difficult. For all these reasons, we recommend treatment now to keep your mouth healthy and preserve your beautiful smile.