There are several reasons why you can lose your teeth even as an adult. Adult teeth can be lost on account of cavities and plaque deposits that wear down the tooth structure, periodontal disease that can weaken gums and affect all the teeth, broken or damaged teeth that can no longer function, or through bone loss.
As a rule, adult teeth, if lost, do not grow back. However, there are several treatment options to replace missing teeth using artificial replacements and dental appliances.
Missing adult teeth
can be filled in by using dentures. You can be prescribed partial dentures which rely on support from other teeth in the jaw. It can also have mechanical support which connects to the remaining ridge of the gum and the underlying bone. Dentures for upper teeth can have a support that relies on the suction exhibited by the roof of your mouth. They are a reliable replacement for missing teeth, but it can take a while before it feels normal and functions as a normal tooth should.
Tooth support bridges
Your dental care provider can recommend tooth support bridges in order to compensate for missing adult teeth. Tooth support bridges rely on the surrounding teeth to be fixed properly. They are more natural in functioning as a normal tooth but can take some time before it feels as normal. Tooth support bridges do not require surgery, but it can require several appointments before it can be put in place. The crowns used in these bridges need to be made artificially and are usually of ceramic, or porcelain fused with metal. They are the most cost effective solution to missing adult teeth.
A more permanent solution is using dental implants
. This involves a complete overhaul by using metal implants to be set in your jaw which attaches to a metal abutment. The abutment becomes a solid support for an artificial crown which will replicate a natural tooth flawlessly.
Using stronger materials such as ceramic, porcelain fused with metal, and metal to build the artificial crown can help the implant function just as well, if not better, as a normal tooth. It is by far the most effective solution as it can be easily implemented through dental surgery.
However, it is an expensive option as an implant needs to be created artificially from scratch and also needs to be customized to suit your teeth specifications. It is a cost effective solution, being permanent, but maybe not the best option if you have to replace an entire arch as it will be very expensive.
It is best to consult with your dental care provider on the best possible solution.
There are other treatment options of course that rely on a more natural course with minimal surgical involvement. These include drifting and bone resorption among several others.
Drifting mostly occurs naturally as teeth tend to shift in our mouth and existing teeth will slowly reduce the gap where the missing teeth used to be.
Bone resorption occurs as the bone that supports teeth shrinks over time on account of missing adult teeth. While both these treatments are entirely natural, it is recommended to consult your dental care professional before opting for these kind of treatments.