Our Indianapolis dental office offers single tooth dentures to replace a tooth that you have lost to an accident, infection, or age. The most noticeable effect of one or more missing teeth is usually aesthetic. The way you look influences the way you feel. The psychological and social consequences of tooth loss can have negative effects on a person’s self-esteem. However, a missing tooth does not just cause unsightly gaps, it can also have a damaging effect on your overall dental health.

Even the loss of one tooth may cause the other teeth in your mouth to shift and the facial muscles to sag, creating an older appearance. The alveolar bone that supports the teeth needs stimulation from adjoining teeth to maintain its form and density. When a tooth is missing, the lack of stimulation causes the bone to lose its external width, height and bone volume. When the alveolar bone starts to lose density, the basal bone (or jawbone) beneath it also begins to dissipate, causing facial muscles to collapse over time. Fortunately, we can replace missing teeth.

What Are Single Tooth Dentures?

A single tooth denture, also known as a partial denture, is a simple method for replacing a missing tooth. Single tooth dentures consist of artificial teeth with a pink or gum-colored plastic base. Single tooth dentures are held together at the base by metal framework that keeps the denture in place when it is in the mouth. A partial denture is detachable and consists of metal clasps that attach to the adjacent teeth, similar to an orthodontic retainer. A single tooth denture should be removed daily for cleaning and sleeping.

What Are the Advantages of Single Tooth Dentures?

Single tooth dentures are a popular option for many people because of how cost-effective they are, especially in comparison to implants or fixed bridges. It is the most non-invasive option for replacing one or more missing teeth and can be beneficial to anyone who may be medically compromised or cannot handle a more invasive dental procedure. While a single, partial denture does rely on neighboring teeth for support, the condition of the surrounding teeth does not necessarily affect its success. In the event, a single tooth denture sustains any cracks, chips or sustains damage, repairing or replacing it is a reasonably simple process and costs very little.

What Do New Dentures Feel Like?

New dentures may feel a little strange and loose for the first few weeks until the tongue and muscles within the cheeks learn to keep them in place. It is quite common for many people to feel some minor soreness initially, but these problems soon go away as the mouth adjusts.

Routine actions, such as eating, with a new, single tooth denture may take a little practice and can be initially uncomfortable for some denture wearers. To get used to the new denture, start with soft foods and cut them into small pieces. It is best to chew slowly using both sides of your mouth. As you get used to new dentures, introduce other foods until you return to your normal diet. Be cautious with extremely hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells. Avoid foods that are extremely sticky or hard, like candy or gum, since these may stick to the denture and prove difficult to get out.

Some people may have trouble pronouncing certain words and should practice saying the difficult words out loud until they become accustomed to speaking properly with their new denture. If while talking, the denture makes a clicking sound, you may need to have it adjusted.