Replacement Options for Missing Teeth

Annual Aging Well Section

Growing older is a gift, but as you grow into your golden years, it’s important to stay on top of your health. Being mindful of health and wellness changes eases the aging process and prevents unnecessary worry so you can fully enjoy this season of life. Here, we talk to experts who share information about topics to be aware of as you age, along with preventative measures and treatment options.

By Lindsey June

 

Tooth loss is a common problem for aging adults, but these replacement options can restore your smile to its prime. 

 

Understanding Tooth Decay

As we age, it’s important to maintain our overall health to the best of our ability – and that includes dental health. Tooth decay is a major concern for adults and often results in tooth loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 26% of adults aged 65 or older have eight or fewer teeth.

Tooth loss is a concerning prospect, but fortunately, there are replacement options that can restore and even improve upon your natural smile. 

 

Partials

A partial denture replaces the missing teeth when someone still has multiple natural teeth remaining. It is removable, so not attached permanently to the teeth or jawbones. It is made from an exact replica of your mouth in a dental lab. There are different styles with or without metal, or even temporary styles.

 

Dentures

Dentures are removable appliances that can replace all the missing teeth and help restore your smile. When all the teeth are missing, a denture rests on the surrounding soft and hard tissues to help replace teeth and give support while eating. Sometimes dentures can be supported by implants, which help hold the denture in place.

 

Bridges

Dental bridges are false teeth used between a set of two natural teeth that fill in a gap. They are often made out of porcelain. Bridges can be bound between two dental implants, or they can be supported by placing a crown on the remaining teeth, securing the false tooth in place.  

 

Dental Implants

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that provide a foundation for replacement teeth. They are secured directly to the jawbone in place of the missing tooth and attached surgically via screws. As the area heals, the implant fuses to the jawbone. Dental implants are considered one of the most permanent and reliable options for tooth replacement and are ideal for those who have only lost one or two teeth.

 

Dr. Mandy Shearer shares her expert opinion on replacement options for missing teeth