Tooth-Replacement Appliances That Don't Require Your Dentist To Alter Your Healthy Teeth

Posted on: 11 July 2019

If you have one or more missing teeth, there are several tooth-replacement devices that can be applied to restore them. However, some applications, such as fixed bridges, may involve permanent changes to other healthy teeth. 

A conventional bridge becomes fixed in the mouth as the device attaches to the abutment teeth, which are the teeth that border the gap left by a lost tooth. The prosthetic replacement teeth of the bridge are bordered by crowns. These bridge crowns fit over the abutment teeth and are cemented into place.

Before the bridge can be placed, some of the tooth material from the abutment teeth must be removed. The removal of healthy tooth enamel is required to allow the crowns of the bridge to fit over the teeth properly.

Here are a few tooth-replacement appliances that do not require the alteration of healthy teeth.

Dental Implants

When a dental implant is used to replace a lost tooth, the adjacent healthy teeth incur no damage. During an in-office surgical procedure, the dentist inserts the implant into the bone of the jaw through the gums. The implant wound heals over time, allowing the device's integration with the bone tissue.

Although the implant does cause changes to the soft tissues and bone, it does not wound or harm the patient's other teeth. Even when the implant is topped by a connector and dental crown, the device does not negatively impact the natural teeth.

Partial Denture

A partial denture is used to replace multiple missing teeth when additional natural teeth are still present in the palate. The denture consists of the false teeth attached to a base that is made of gum-colored plastic. The base also includes a metal framework that stabilizes the denture.

The device is held in place by metal clasps. The clasps wrap around nearby teeth to hold the denture in position. Although the clasps do hug the teeth, they do not require the removal of tooth material or any other permanent changes to the teeth. 

Dental Flipper

A flipper denture is often used for the temporary replacement of a lost tooth. However, the device can replace several missing teeth. The flipper includes the false tooth or teeth in an acrylic base. It may also include metal supports.

The flipper is held in place by the plastic flaps or metal clasps. Regardless of the method of stabilization, the device does not require that the patient's other teeth be altered.

If you have one or more missing teeth, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.