Edentulism : Missing Teeth.
Edentulism effects your self confidence, and has a dramatic impact on the quality of your life. It will limit your choice of foods and therefore your nutrition and general health will suffer. You can feel isolated either socially or on the job. Edentulism can effect relationships with loved ones.
If not treated, partial edentulism, that is missing some of your teeth, can place stress on the remaining teeth requiring them to "do more work". This can lead to further tooth loss.
Edentulism also leads to bone loss making the "fitting’ of traditional dentures difficult or impossible.
The best solutions for missing teeth are bridges, removable partial or full dentures, or dental implants.
Partial Dentures: When several teeth are missing, a removable partial denture may provide the support needed to fill in the spaces. Partial dentures usually attach to natural teeth with unsightly clasps and hooks. These very obvious attachments can cause undue stress on the existing natural teeth and promote tooth decay.
Full Dentures: Some people can wear full dentures without fit problems, but it is not uncommon for a denture wearer to live with pain and irritation of the gums or have difficulty eating or speaking. Many denture wearers are anxious about whether or not their denture is going to slip and cause embarrassment. Removable teeth, no matter how well made, do not feel or function like natural teeth.
Fixed Bridges: Aside from implants, these come as close as possible to the feel of natural teeth. However, this necessitates "cutting down" and crowning natural healthy teeth to support the bridge.
Dental Implants: Besides the extreme cost, these are the best choice for replacing teeth. This is a surgical procedure discussed in another node.