Did you know that a missing tooth is a health issue as well as an aesthetic issue? According to a recent article in the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, the gap in your smile can change the way your teeth make contact, affecting your bite. The altered bite can cause other teeth to move, and it can place strain on your jaw joints, causing TMJ or weakening the jaw bone. That’s why it is so important to visit a Singapore dental clinic like Orchard Scotts Dental. Our team can evaluate your situation and inform you about the two primary ways to replace those missing teeth.
An implant is an artificial tooth, or crown, with an artificial “root” attached. The root is usually a titanium screw that goes all the way down into your jawbone in order to keep the artificial tooth in place. Before your Singapore dentist performs the dental implant procedure, he will take scans to see how much bone you have and how healthy it is. Depending on those factors, he may have to do surgery to augment the bone. Once the jaw is strong and substantial enough to support the implant, your dentist places the titanium screw into the jaw. A tiny cap at the top of the screw offers an attachment area for the crown.
Once the screw fuses effectively with the jawbone, your dentist proceeds to the next step; taking off the tiny cap and putting in a titanium post instead. The crown is then screwed or cemented to the post. Crowns are often made of ceramic and are custom-designed to look like your natural teeth. The entire process of dental implant surgery takes several visits over the course of many months, but the result is a secure, comfortable, and permanent solution.
If you’re missing multiple teeth, a bridge may be your best option. A bridge consists of several artificial teeth attached to a metal frame. Your dentist attaches the frame to a support system in your mouth. Usually, the required support is available from other healthy teeth, which are first covered by crowns; but in some cases, your dentists may need to place implants first in order to obtain the secure structure necessary to keep the bridge in place.
One type of bridge is sometimes employed at the front of the mouth, in a space that is too narrow for an implant. For this procedure, the dentist inserts the artificial tooth and attaches it by applying adhesive to nearby teeth and placing strips of ceramic or metal on top of the glue. The tiny, thin strips act as a brace, securing the artificial tooth in place.
If you already have enough healthy teeth or implants to support the bridge, the process is much quicker than dental implant surgery. However, you will still have to visit your Singapore dentist multiple times. First, your dentist must take impressions of your teeth and do photos and X-rays to get a clear picture of the situation inside your mouth. During the next visit, he will prep your natural teeth to serve as supports, placing a temporary bridge in the meantime. The final visit will involve the final crown placement and the actual bridge.
The Next Step
If you have missing teeth, take time to invest in yourself and fill in those gaps. Visit Orchard Scotts Dental for a consultation with one of our expert Singapore dentists. After an evaluation and some information, you can start on the path to a perfect smile.
Original Source: “Two Options for Replacing Lost Teeth,” Harvard Women’s Health Watch, December 2016.