Understanding Tooth Loss and Replacement Options

Tooth Loss

We are all quite self-conscious about our teeth, and invest in having a beautiful smile. The last thing any of us wants is a missing tooth. Here are some answers to questions we get asked by patients dealing with tooth loss.

Why do the baby teeth fall out?

Everyone has milk teeth as children, which fall out and are replaced by adult teeth. Adult teeth are stronger and they form since birth. They push through milk teeth to take their rightful place. When milk teeth fall, adult teeth do not grow in place of them. Teeth do not regrow.

How do adults loose teeth?

There are many reasons for tooth loss such as gum disease, infections, tooth decay, and injuries from falls or accidents. Chemotherapy and radiation may cause tooth loss too. Some people have missing tooth or teeth due to birth defects.

What are my options?

You do not have to endure the pain of facing the world with a hole in your mouth. You can choose from any of the following replacement options based on your lifestyle requirements:

  • Dentures: They are available as a complete/partial set that are removable. They are supported by oral tissues and are quite comfortable. Dentures do need to be frequently cleaned, but can last several years if maintained properly.
  • Implants: The most amicable option, it involves attaching an artificial tooth, to a titanium root that is appended to the jawbone. This solution requires surgery and lasts long depending on your general and oral health.
  • Over Dentures: These are removable dentures with better retention than regular dentures. A few implants are placed on the upper and lower jaw (as required). Depending on whether the implants create a bar or have an attachment, dentures can be placed to snap into the structure.
  • Bridges: These literally bridge the gap created by missing tooth/ teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap (anchor teeth) and a false tooth/teeth in between.