Transform your smile with dental implants.pdf - Page 8

What tooth replacement options are available?
So you have lost one, several, or all of your teeth – what are
your choices other than dental implants?
Do nothing at all
This may be fine for one tooth, if it is not visible and you do not
miss it when chewing. However, there may be some long-term
consequences of doing nothing at all: gum and bone may shrink
over time and adjacent teeth may move into the gap, causing
future problems for the remaining teeth. It is worth getting the
loss of a single tooth checked by a dentist to see if your bite will
remain stable and that your other teeth will not change position.
If the missing tooth or teeth are at the front of your mouth, your
missing teeth make chewing food difficult, or your teeth are at risk
of moving, you will need to take action. So what are your options?
Removable dentures – partial or full
In the past, removable dentures were the only solution to lost
teeth. Though they can work well, most people do not want
something removable – a denture is not a must-have item!
Dentures do not stop continual bone loss; they often need to be
remade every five to seven years as the gum and bone shrink
beneath them. Each successive denture tends to become less
stable as more gum and bone are lost. Dentures can make it
difficult to clean around the remaining teeth, a problem that can
lead to tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. Dentures can
make eating more awkward too – they often reduce the sense of
taste. If they become loose and unstable, denture adhesive (a
type of glue) is required to stick the dentures in place. This often
needs to be reapplied after eating and many people find this
unpleasant. Some people have such an extreme gag reflex that
wearing dentures is impossible.
Dentures are usually made from a special plastic (called acrylic),
but can also be made from a combination of acrylic and metals
– typically chromium cobalt or gold alloys. There are now some
flexible plastics that can be used in certain cases.


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