Upper False Teeth Options

It’s understandable for a person who’s missing any or all of their natural teeth to feel self-conscious about their smile. If your missing teeth are in the top row, especially toward the front of the mouth, you may feel so self-conscious that you choose to avoid smiling or otherwise exposing the top teeth at all. The front teeth occupy what’s known as the aesthetic zone, as they dramatically affect the aesthetics of a person’s smile and the appearance of the overall dentition. While dentures have been used for decades to replace the upper and lower teeth, many people find them uncomfortable, inconvenient, or even painful. As the fields of restorative dentistry and implant technology continue to expand and develop, however, more and more options for replacing single and multiple teeth continue to arise. Each of these choices comes with its own set of pros and cons, and you and your dentist can work together to determine which upper false teeth options would work for your clinical and personal needs. Available options will depend on the number and location of the teeth you’re replacing; the health of your jawbone, your oral health, and your overall health; and your budget and personal preferences.

Some of the more widely used restoration options for replacing missing upper teeth include dental bridges, overdentures, removable dentures, and dental implants. The most effective, and most popular, alternative to removable dentures is dental implants. Dental implants consist of two or three different parts, including a dental implant post that is surgically placed in the jawbone and a dental prosthetic, which could be a dental crown, dental bridge, or even a full implant dentures; some dental implants have a separate attachment apparatus that affixes the dental prosthetic to the implant, while others incorporate this attachment apparatus into the dental implant post itself. The dental implant post is made of biocompatible, osteophilic material that is attracted to bone and poses a very minimal risk of systemic rejection. As the bone heals around a dental implant post, it fuses to the implant and creates a permanent bond, providing the implant with the strength and stability it needs to support a dental prosthetic over the long term.

The success of a dental implant depends in large part on this healing process. The fusion of the bone tissue and the implant is called osseointegration, and the process of osseointegration usually takes about three to six months; your dentist will provide you with a temporary replacement tooth while your implant heals, and, once osseointegration has completed, the permanent replacement tooth or row of teeth will be permanently affixed to the dental implant. Because the stability of a dental implant comes from osseointegration, which relies on a sufficient amount of available, healthy bone, dental implant treatment might require bone graft surgeries when insufficient healthy bone is present. Especially when they’re used to replace upper teeth, which need to resist the forces of gravity, the stability of the bone is particularly important. Once a dental implant has been placed, it will continue to stimulate the health of the bone that supports it, helping to maintain the health of the jaw and the structure and appearance of the lower face while providing extensive aesthetic and functional benefits.

In a traditional dental implant treatment, this implant post will support a single prosthetic tooth, or dental crown, creating a replica of a natural tooth structure with a one-to-one correspondence between the root and the tooth and providing a lifelike, comfortable, stable replacement tooth. These dental crowns are custom-crafted to match the surrounding teeth in color and luster and provide the greatest aesthetic benefit among upper false teeth options. Dental implants can also be used to support overdentures and dental bridges. For people who have lost an entire row of teeth, an implant supported overdenture could be an optimal solution. Removable dentures are held in place with adhesives, though these adhesives don’t always work that well and can lead to dentures rubbing on the gum tissue or slipping out of place, which can be uncomfortable and can cause dentures to interfere with comfortable eating and clear speech. Overdentures are held in place by dental implants or held in place by the remaining natural teeth, which provides them with considerably more stability than any adhesive can, preventing them from rubbing or slipping. This stability helps keep overdentures from irritating the gums and interfering with daily acts, and implant supported overdentures confer the added benefit of stimulating and maintaining healthy bone. In many cases, an implant supported overdenture can use as few as two or four dental implants to support an entire row of teeth; in most of these cases, at least four implants are required for an upper row of false teeth, which need more reinforcement than the lower teeth.

If it’s not an option for you to get dental implants, there are removable options to replace missing upper teeth. Traditional removable dentures can work in a pinch, and flexible removable dentures may be more comfortable than the more common, rigid acrylic dentures. These flexible dentures can be made from malleable thermoplastic material that is thinner and more streamlined, making them less likely to rub painfully against the gum tissue; ask your dentist if a flexible denture is available for you. If you still have some of your natural teeth and don’t want, or can’t get, dental implants, you might also be a good candidate for a removable partial denture, which will rely on the existing natural teeth to support the dental prosthetic. If you’re missing a single tooth, a removable dental bridge might be the recommended treatment. This appliance contains a single artificial tooth that is supported on either side by dental crowns that are placed over the natural teeth. This requires the removal of some of the healthy dental tissue in order to accommodate a dental crown, which is the main drawback of a dental bridge; otherwise, dental bridges can be excellent alternatives to dentures or dental implants.

The health of the oral cavity is an important part of maintaining the comfort and success of dental restorations, no matter what type of restoration is chosen by you and your dentist. Caring for your false teeth along with your remaining teeth and your entire oral cavity is integral to maintaining their function and appearance over the long term. False teeth need to be cleaned regularly, just as the natural teeth do, and the gums, tongue, and oral tissues should also be cleaned to remove debris and bacteria that can lead to infection. Each type of dental restoration is cleaned differently, and your dentist will work with you to ensure that you have all the information and tools that you need to maintain the strength and appearance of your false teeth no matter what type of restoration you choose. Gum disease can affect the fit and comfort of false teeth, too, and is most often detected in routine dental exams, so make sure to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings as part of your overall oral hygiene routine, and do your part to keep your false teeth, and your natural teeth, stable and strong.

Double Tooth Implant

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