Keep smiling with a shortened dental arch
A shortened dental arch (SDA) does not look to replace all missing teeth. For this treatment option, a reduced number of teeth are accepted, which provide adequate chewing power and comfort.
When/why should you choose this option?
- If it is possible to achieve the desired appearance and satisfactory oral function (chewing and speaking), through a SDA.
- It avoids, or minimises, overloading and reducing (e.g. cutting and shaping) the remaining natural teeth.
- It makes it easier to maintain oral hygiene.
- Replacing all teeth is not possible for dental or financial reasons.
What do you need to be aware of?
- It could be more difficult to replace missing teeth in the future if further teeth are lost, which may then affect your ability to speak and chew comfortably.
What will you need to do to improve your chance of long-term success?
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste containing at least 1,100 ppm fluoride if your risk of dental caries is low.
- Use dental floss and/or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that is low in sugar.
- Your dentist will assess your risk and need for periodic review. This might be between 3-12 months depending on his/her recommendation.
What if there are problems?
- You and your dentist will need to revise the plan of care if the treatment does not achieve the desired outcomes, or if there is further tooth loss.
What other factors do we need to consider?
- Invasiveness of procedure: This will depend on the treatment selected to restore the SDA. Depending on the patient, different treatment options will be available.
- Treatment fees: This treatment may provide a low-cost option.
How does this option affect you?
SDAs, if successful, can help to improve chewing and aesthetics to a comfortable level.