Rossville Family Dentistry | Family Friendly Dentist | Lafayette and Rossville Indiana


Sometimes a tooth may be lost due to disease or trauma. Replacing missing teeth is important to maintain the positionof surrounding teeth and to maintain the health of your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Traditionally, missing teeth have been replaced with fixed bridges, partials, or dentures.

For many years, however, dental implants have increasingly been used to replace single or multiple missing teeth and to stabilize dentures.

A bridge is a restoration that "bridges" the space where a tooth is missing. A bridge is similar to a crown in that it is cemented into place. A bridge can be placed over natural teeth or over implants
(see implants).

A bridge helps maintain space and helps support your facial structures. Losing a tooth and not replacing it will cause other teeth to shift and can cause your face to look sunken and sagging.

Like crowns, bridges can be made from gold, porcelain fused to metal or in some select cases, porcelain only.

Removable partial dentures, or partials, can also be fabricated to replace missing teeth. While a partial can be made to replace only one tooth, this is usually not the desired long-term treatment for single tooth replacement. Partials are usually fabricated to replace multiple missing teeth, either front or back teeth.

Complete dentures are fabricated to replace a full set of teeth. A conventional denture can be made for a person already missing all of his or her teeth. An immediate denture can be made for someone who does not want to go without teeth. In this case, the denture is fabricated, the teeth are then extracted and the denture is placed the same day.

Achieving stability with a complete denture is sometimes a problem. In those cases, implants can be placed that have abutments or a bar that the denture hooks into (see implants).

Bridges, partials, and dentures are no longer the only options for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants can offer a patient a much more comfortable, natural feeling dentition. Dental implants are surgically placed below the gums and over time they fuse to the bone. Once this is accomplished, the implants are uncovered and are ready to be restored. Implants can be used to replace single teeth and then restored with a crown, or they can be used to replace multiple teeth and restored with a bridge. Implants can also be placed to help stabilize partials or dentures.