Sometimes people will lose teeth for a variety of reasons including tooth infections, gum disease, or trauma. It is important at this stage to come up with a solution to replace that gap for functional and cosmetic reasons. Your doctor will recommend options, which will include implants or a fixed bridge depending on the situation.
- Implants are titanium screws, which are drilled into your jaw bone, left to heal for a few months, then restored with an esthetic crown. Implants are generally the best option in most cases, since they are able to mimic natural teeth without affecting neighboring teeth, and have an excellent long term success rate.
- Fixed bridges are generally recommended when the two teeth beside the gap also need to be restored. The doctors will prepare the two adjacent teeth for a crown, and the two crowns will be joined by a third crown in the middle, which will mimic a tooth to fill the gap. Although fixed bridges are an economical and valid option, implants are generally better.
- Fixed dentures are usually recommended when the decision is made that all the teeth either require too much work or are in generally poor shape – in which case it makes more sense to extract all of the natural teeth and make a denture. Fixed dentures are far superior to traditional removable dentures however, since they are supported by implants, which makes them a lot more stable and chewing, speaking and the esthetics improve dramatically compared to the removable option.
- Removable dentures are generally recommended in the same situation as above, but when implants are either not possible or not economically viable for the patient.