I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
Tooth loss occurs for many different reasons. One may suffer an injury, have tooth decay, or even experience a loose tooth from such diseases as cancer. The American College of Prosthodontists reports that an astounding 178 million people in America have at least one missing tooth. If you find yourself within that group, there is something you can do about it. A tooth replacement can be made so that you can enjoy a perfect smile and retain the ability to enjoy your food as you normally would.
Patients will find implants are an excellent option whether you require just one tooth replacement or multiple teeth. It does require surgery, however, and strong bones, so this may not be the best way to go if you are not in good health. The way the implant works is by placing a crown on top of a titanium post that is surgically placed in either the upper or lower jaw. The crown is custom-made to resemble your natural teeth, making the chances that someone even notices you have implant very slim.
Fixed bridges are a better choice for patients that have lost more than one tooth with those teeth residing directly next to each other. The teeth at each end are ground down to be able to fit the bridge, which is made at a dental laboratory using impressions made by the dentist. The bridge is then cemented into place. This option is less costly than an implant, but it does affect a few healthy teeth. You'll need to weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision.
Perhaps the most affordable option, partial dentures aren't as permanent as implants and fixed bridges. Since the replacement teeth are attached to a plastic base that is inserted over your gums, you can easily remove it. Cleaning the partial dentures is easy, but there are a few downsides to this option that one should be aware of. The partial dentures may not be as comfortable to wear and over time, the shape of your mouth can change. This leads to the dentures no longer fitting properly. You'd need to head back to the dentist for a new set.
Also referred to as a resin-bonded bridge, the Maryland bridge works a little differently than the fixed bridge. It does not require healthy teeth to be altered in any way. Instead, small devices called wings are used to adhere the custom-made crowns to the teeth next to them. The cons associated with this option are that it isn't as permanent of a solution and the bones underneath of the bridge are more likely to deteriorate over time. For more information, contact a business such as Scott W. Murphy, D.M.D., P.A.