Millions of Americans find themselves with a similar problem. Missing teeth in the mouth, termed edentualism, plagues so many of us. We often hear patients question if teeth can be replaced later in life. Generally the answer is yes. There are unique situations that will not allow for tooth replacement but as a general rule, age will not play a part in successful treatment outcomes.
What are the Solutions?
There are a number of ways that teeth can be replaced. The following are some of the more common methods for replacement for patients of any age.
The traditional approach has been to utilize dentures. Complete dentures were indicated much more in years past because a much higher percentage of the population suffered from complete edentualism. Complete dentures are created from an acrylic gum-colored base with either porcelain or resin teeth that are fastened onto the base. Dentures are created over the course of several visits and are one of the least invasive of the procedures for the replacement of teeth.
Partial dentures are utilized for the replacement of generally two or more teeth but not all of the teeth in one arch. Partial dentures differ from complete dentures in a few key ways. First, they utilize existing teeth to be retained in the mouth. Second, instead of a base that is constructed completely of acrylic, they most often use a metal framework for strength.
Implant Supported Overdentures
Complete and removable partial dentures have some inherent problems associated. First, many patients complain of difficulties with slipping, sliding, soft tissue irritation, and problems speaking adequately. Second, dentures only allow the user to produce a fraction of the chewing force as with real teeth. Implant supported dentures can alleviate many of these problems. They have been shown to increase chewing forces anywhere from 60-200% in comparison to traditional dentures. For more information regarding dentures, see our services section!
Dr. Nawrocki is proud to provide the residents of Orange Park and the surrounding areas with Hybrid Denture treatments. Recent years have provided us with the opportunity to create hybrid dentures. Hybrids generally will utilize five or six implants per arch. The denture will essentially screw into the implants. This provides the patient with a secure option for complete arch tooth removal. Feel free to read more about Hybridge Dental Implant system.
A bridge is used for the replacement for one or more teeth. Essentially a bridge uses one or more teeth on either side of the tooth being replaced for support. The replacement tooth or teeth are termed “pontics”. The teeth that are providing support will receive a crown that is essentially a cap in which a support is attached. For more information regarding this option, visit our services section on crowns and bridges.
What are the Reasons that Age Could Inhibit Tooth Replacement?
Age in and of itself generally will not create any roadblocks to tooth replacement. There are; however, some aspects of aging that could possibly complicate treatment. First, the utilization of medications increases significantly with age. Certain medications can cause dry mouth which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Second, the prevalence of other systemic conditions tends to increase with age. Some of these can complicate treatment as well. Finally, when teeth are lost, there are some ways that at the body adjusts that can create problems replacing teeth. The body is very resourceful. It tends to eliminate much of what it cannot or will not use. The bone that anchors teeth will resorb after teeth are lost. Much of that resorption happens in the first year but it does continue at a slower pace later on in life. An individual that has spent many years without teeth could be difficult to treat because of the lack of supporting bone to use for support.
We are dedicated to providing the residents of Orange Park, FL with oral health education. For more information feel free to contact us any time!