Through the course of ones lifetime, one may loose one /multiple teeth due to unavoidable reasons.
One of the most common causes of tooth loss is gum disease, contrary to the popular belief that teeth are lost mainly due to cavities, which is the second most common cause of tooth loss.
Any missing tooth must be replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the surrounding tissues and teeth.
Once a tooth is lost the support of the adjoining teeth is compromised and over the years the teeth on either side drift a little toward the gap left by the missing teeth.
Due to the drift there is increase in gaps between the teeth and food lodgment starts in between the teeth.
This continuous food lodgment causes gum problems for the adjacent teeth and leads also to formation of cavities in between the teeth.
Thus the loss of just one tooth causes 4 more teeth to become loose and get cavities leading to Root canal treatments or loss of even those teeth.
This is a slow procedure and mostly people can’t seem to associate the new problems to the loss of some tooth a few yrs ago ….but the start of the entire collapse of all the teeth on the same side is the missing tooth extracted few yrs ago.
To prevent the complete collapse of the dentition on that side timely intervention and replacement of the missing tooth is extremely necessary.
Replacing missing teeth
Missing teeth can be replaced in basically 2 ways
1. Removable prosthesis
2. Fixed Prosthesis
This is like a removable denture which one wears throughout the day and has to be removed while sleeping.
It is the most economical way of replacing the missing tooth and serves the purpose of maintaining the space of the original tooth.
However it is a large prosthesis with a base and clasps (Wire Clips) to hold it in place It is not as comfortable as other options and the feeling of a foreign thing in the mouth remains .It is suitable for regular food stuff but harder things like nuts etc cannot be chewed by it .It takes sometime to get used to and from time to time may require relining to adapt to the shrinking gums on which it rests.
Sometimes in the case of distal extensions (where all teeth behind are missing) other options may not be feasible and this may be the only option to restore chewing
Fixed prosthesis is mainly of 2 types:-