Having one or more missing teeth is far from rare. In fact, according to American College of Prosthodontists, 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, and those numbers are predicted to climb in the next two decades. Fortunately, as more and more people have lost teeth due to decay, gum disease, or injury, so has the number of available options to replace missing teeth.
It seems logical to turn to dentures or dental implants if you’re missing all of your teeth, but can you wear dentures if you still have some natural healthy teeth remaining? Absolutely.
Dr. Vilderman believes that having healthy remaining teeth not only increases your options to replace missing teeth, but also can benefit you in a variety of ways. She explains the benefits below, so that you get an overview of your options before coming in for a consultation.
There are two primary types of dentures: full and partial dentures. Which type you get is determined by how many missing teeth you have. You get full dentures if you have no remaining teeth left, but if you have one or more teeth in your upper or lower jaw, you can get partials.
Partial dentures recreate the mechanics of a full set of healthy teeth by teaming up with dental bridges and crowns. Like its name suggests a dental bridge bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that restores a tooth or strengthens it. When crowns are used with a dental bridge, we place the crowns on either side of the space created by the missing teeth. The bridge is supported by the healthy remaining natural teeth or dental implants, creating a strong foundation for chewing.
You may be familiar with dental implants as an option for replacing missing teeth instead of wearing dentures. However, dental implants can also be used to anchor partial dentures. We may also use a combination of both dental implants and your healthy natural teeth to stabilize your new partial dentures.
Tooth roots secured in the bone play a primary role in keeping the jawbone healthy through the stimulation and pressure created by the mechanics of chewing. The forces from chewing reminds the bone tissue to continue creating new bone cells as old ones are broken down. So even if you have a few missing teeth, you can use partial dentures, dental implants, or bridges and crowns in combination with your natural healthy teeth to mimic the advantages of having a full set of teeth.
So if you’re missing some teeth, but still have some healthy natural ones of your own, you have several options to explore. Come in and talk with Dr. Vilderman about what she recommends for you. She’s an experienced cosmetic and family dentist who loves helping patients with missing teeth restore their smiles.
If you live in the Park Merced, West Portal, and Outer Sunset areas, call our office, or if it’s more convenient, just book a consultation here on the website with the online scheduling tool.