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Jaw Surgery and Dental Implants in Singapore Blog

Three Options for Replacing Missing Teeth or Loose Teeth in Singapore

replace missing teeth in singaporeIf you have missing or loose teeth, weighing your replacement options carefully is important. After all, the quality of your dental restoration will affect your everyday life in terms of comfort, oral function and appearance for years to come. Your three basic options include a fixed dental bridge, dentures and implant-based dental restorations. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each can help you make informed decisions about which will best serve your individual needs.

Fixed Dental Bridges

Fixed dental bridges can replace a single tooth or several. Typically, they consist of two crowns, between which are placed one or more artificial teeth. The crowns will be fitted onto natural teeth at each end of the gap to be filled, holding the bridge in place. A well-made and properly placed bridge is an attractive and comfortable option for replacing missing teeth.

However, they do have disadvantages. Crowning adjacent teeth involves altering them, which can weaken their structure. Supporting a bridge can place undue stress on natural teeth. Both issues can cause more dental problems. Fixed bridges offer no protection against bone loss, which occurs in areas of the jawbone where teeth have been lost, and they are not permanent, with an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years.

Removable Dentures

Replacing missing teeth with dentures is also an option. Partial dentures can be used to replace a single tooth or several, while full dentures replace all teeth in one jaw or both. Partial dentures most commonly consist of one or more artificial teeth on gum-colored base, with clasps at each end, which slip over natural teeth for retention.

Full dentures generally consist of a full set of teeth, commonly made of acrylic or porcelain, set into an acrylic base. They are held in place by support from the gum ridge and underlying bone. Upper dentures also use suction between the roof of the mouth and the denture to aid retention.

Dentures, if they are well-made and precisely fitted, can provide an attractive and functional dental restoration, but are not a perfect solution. Disadvantages include damage to adjacent teeth by partial dentures, and full dentures for the lower jaw are often unstable, since they have less support than upper ones. Additionally, both partial and full dentures loosen over time with bone loss and must be relined or replaced every 5 to 7 years.

Implant-Based Restorations

Replacing missing teeth with implants may be the best option. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth or all teeth in one or both jaws. In single tooth replacement, a dental implant is surgically placed into the jaw and will bond with the jawbone, much like a natural tooth root. Then, an abutment is mounted on the implant to hold a prosthetic tooth. For the replacement of several teeth, two or more dental implants can be placed to secure a permanent bridge. Restoration of total tooth loss generally consists of 4 to 8 implants topped with a complete arch of replacement teeth.

Advantages of implant-based restorations include protection against bone loss, since the implants provide stimulation to the jawbone much like natural tooth roots do, helping it stay strong and healthy. Anchored into the jawbone like natural teeth, implant-based restorations are self-supporting, doing no harm to adjacent teeth. They function, feel and look like natural teeth, and with good oral hygiene and regular checkups, can last a lifetime.

Whichever option you decide upon, getting started as soon as possible is important to prevent further dental problems, such as undue wear or drifting in remaining natural teeth and bone loss. Of course, being able to eat and speak properly is important too, as is having your best smile possible. 

permanent dentures