False teeth can effectively replace missing teeth and enhance a person's smile and shape of the face. This helps in boosting self-esteem and carries with it many significant dental health benefits as well. This is because the gaps left by missing teeth can and do have an adverse effect on the way the rest of the teeth meet in the mouth. Such gaps can cause the remaining teeth to tilt and drift into them. Moreover, food particles are often trapped in the spaces, and this increases the risk of decay and gum disease.
It is advisable to discuss the options with an orthodontist before having any teeth taken out. One can, of course, choose to do nothing and avoid false teeth altogether. One can also choose to use dentures, consisting of removable plastic or metal plates fitted with artificial teeth. Yet another option is using bridges, which are artificial ones anchored to adjacent natural teeth. Finally, one can choose implants, which effectively are metal 'pegs' attached to the jawbone onto which dentures or bridges are clipped or screwed.
Dentures - A Quick Solution
One of the most commonly used options is dentures, which a dentist can fit for a patient soon after a tooth/teeth extraction. This is the only immediate option then, because it takes several months for the bone and gums to reform stably after tooth extraction. A temporary plastic denture will not stay in place for over a few months, since the healing tissues shrink. Complete healing usually takes place in six months, after which a dentist can start making a long-term denture or bridge.
One can also opt for partial dentures, which are useful for the replacement of one or more missing teeth. A patient must adopt a routine of removing such dentures for cleaning, and having them out of the mouth out at night. Partial dentures come in various types. However, they usually comprise a metal or plastic plate (or a combination of both) that holds plastic or porcelain teeth. They usually incorporate metal clasps to keep the denture in position. It is often possible to conceal them so that they are not visible while smiling and talking.
In cases where no tooth at all remain in the upper or lower jaw, full dentures are often the only option. A user needs to remove such dentures for cleaning and take them out altogether before sleeping at night. Full dentures invariably consist of a plastic base carrying plastic or porcelain teeth. Full dentures for the upper jaw cover the roof of the mouth, with a very thin layer of saliva between the roof of the mouth with the denture providing suction to keep them firmly in position. They often interfere with people's perceptions of taste and temperature because they cover the palate.
Retaining a full denture for the lower jaw in place is not that simple. The floor of the mouth features complex musculature whose working can push the denture out of place. Over time, however, the tongue muscles usually adapt to the shape of such a denture, and keeping it in place becomes easier.
Bridges are useful in replacing one or two teeth. Providing a suitable one on either side of the gap exist to help anchor dentures into place. Bridges for the back of the mouth usually consist of gold artificial teeth, while those visible while smiling may comprise tooth-colored materials.