3 Incredible Solutions for Missing Teeth
Every dentist spends the greatest portion of their career doing everything possible to prevent their patients from losing their natural teeth. However, it may not always be possible to save a tooth, especially one that is severely decayed or damaged. At this point, your Parker, CO dentist will recommend the most suitable tooth replacement option. The team at Green Dental Care shares the following overview of the tooth replacement options available should you ever lose one or more of your natural teeth.
Replacement Option #1: Dental Implants
In an ideal world, everyone who loses a tooth would replace it with a dental implant. Only because this is the best replacement option that can work as well as, or even better, than natural teeth. Dr. Chris Green explains that a dental implant is a titanium rod or screw that is surgically placed in the jaw.
After this rod fuses with the surrounding bone tissue, a dental crown is placed on it using a “peg” referred to as an abutment. This complete system is what is collectively referred to as a dental implant.
Our friends at ThoroughDent Smiles, a dental office in Georgetown KY, also point out that dental implants aren’t only used to replace a single missing tooth. Implants can also be used to make dental bridges or to make fixed dentures.
The Advantages of Dental Implants
- Very high success rates among patients with healthy dental structures
- Implants are comfortable, stable, strong and functional
- No preparation is done to nearby teeth when implants are to be placed
- No special maintenance requirements (you can brush and floss normally, for example)
- Visually appealing
The Drawbacks of Dental Implants
- Dental implants are the most expensive tooth replacement option
- Getting dental implants can be time-consuming
- The process involves undergoing minor surgery
- Patients with certain medical histories, such as diabetes and smokers, have low success rates with this option
- The option comes with minimum requirements, such as on bone density and health of nearby teeth, which a patient must have before getting the implants. Otherwise, other procedures, such as bone grafting, may have to be performed before the implants are placed.
Replacement Option #2: Dental Bridges
If you lose just one tooth, Dr. Ionescu says the next best thing if you can’t get an implant is a dental bridge.
As you may have guessed from the name of this replacement option, a dental bridge refers to a restoration in which two teeth on each side of a gap have crowns placed on them and then a “pontic” or false tooth is supported by these surrounding teeth to fill the gap left.
The Advantages of Dental Bridges
- The restoration is fixed, so you won’t have to keep removing it
- Visually appealing
- Faster and more affordable when compared to getting implants
- Fewer anatomical requirements when compared to implants
- Patients of any age and any medical history can get bridges
The Drawbacks of Dental Bridges
- Patients must have teeth adjacent to the gap to be filled by a bridge
- Adjacent teeth have to be prepped (for crown placement)
- They are harder to maintain since it isn’t easy to clean underneath the pontic
- Failure rates are high, especially when compared to implants
- Bone loss occurs since the jawbone beneath the pontic isn’t stimulated
Replacement Option #3: Removable Dentures
In an ideal situation, your Parker CO dentist will recommend removable dentures as a last resort. Removable dentures are worn during the day and then removed at night. While they are made from different materials, Dr. Green asserts that they all have the same basic attributes.
The Advantages of Removable Dentures
- They are the cheapest replacement option
- Removable dentures don’t require surgery
- Existing teeth are rarely prepped before fitting dentures
The Drawbacks of Removable Dentures
- Less visually appealing
- Less functional
- Harder to clean and maintain
- Less stable
- They are removable
Which Option is the Best to Replace Your Missing Teeth?
Every patient is different, and the experts at Green Dental Care say that a variety of factors comes into play when selecting the best option. For example, your finances and how many missing teeth you have could determine which replacement option you choose.
If finances aren’t a problem and you don’t have any medical/anatomical contraindications, then dental implants would be the option of choice to replace your missing teeth. If, on the other hand, you have a limited budget, then your Parker, CO dental clinic may recommend a bridge or removable dentures.
Dr. Green and Dr. Ionescu are happy to see you for a consultation and recommend the best option to replace your missing teeth. Why wait to get your smile back? Contact Green Dental Care today.