Finding the Right Tooth Replacement Option
If you are missing teeth, you know that it can be embarrassing – especially when you are around someone that has really beautiful teeth. You know that there are several methods available to replace teeth, but deciding between dental implants, dentures, and bridges may not be the easiest choice. Each method of tooth replacement has its own benefits and disadvantages.
Another factor in the decision is going to be the cost. One of these three options – dental implants – is much more expensive than the other two. If cost is a factor above other ones, then you may want to focus on the other two.
About Dental Implants
There is little doubt that dental implants are the best choice in the long run. There are several reasons for this. The first is that a dental implant is permanent. When the titanium stem, which acts as the tooth root, is placed into the jaw bone, the bone and gums will attach to it and anchor it. Once that happens, it is as solid as a permanent tooth. Another advantage is that because it is made of titanium, it will not decay or ever have cavities. In fact, it may be expected to last a lifetime with proper dental care.
Because it becomes solidly anchored in your jaw like one of your own teeth, it means that your false teeth will not slip when you eat or talk. You will be able to eat what you want. Implants are also the only tooth replacement system that will help preserve your jawbone. Other systems, such as dentures and bridges, do not provide this benefit.
Cleaning is easy, too. You would simply brush and floss your teeth as if it were a natural tooth. This is important in order to ensure that the gums around the implant do not get gum disease.
Implants come in several types, depending on what you need. You can get implants for a single tooth, for a couple of teeth, or even for all of your teeth – often called all on 4 dental implants. Once installed, a dental crown is attached to the top of the implant.
Some dentists will place a crown on the implant when it is installed. Other dentists will wait until it has healed – a period of up to six months – before placing a permanent crown on it.
Dentures are false teeth attached to a frame, with gum-colored acrylic support that looks like your gums. They have been around for years and cost much less than implants. This method of tooth replacement can replace one, several, or all of your teeth. This type of denture rests directly on your gums and may slip when you talk or eat. It will require that you have them adjusted every now and then because your jawbone and gums will continue to shrink.
In order to provide some stability to dentures, you can get what is called implant supported dentures. Dental implants are put in place to keep the dentures from slipping. It will not have the same problem as traditional dentures because it rests on the implants and not on your gums. Implant supported dentures are removable, which enables them to be removed daily for cleaning.
Although the implants may last a lifetime, the dentures themselves may be rather short-lived, depending on the care given to them. You may need to get new ones every 5 – 7 years. You will need to be careful about what you eat and avoid hard foods.
When preparing for a dental bridge, the dentist will reduce the enamel of healthy teeth on both sides of the bridge. This is done so that they can accommodate the crowns that will be used to support the bridge. The crowns that are replacing the missing teeth will be cemented together into one piece and then attached.
Another option is an implant-supported bridge. A dentist may recommend it when there is a strong possibility that too much pressure may be placed on a regular bridge – which can break it. An implant-supported bridge uses implants to support each of the replacement teeth, instead of cementing it to neighboring teeth. This enables the additional pressure to be spread across multiple teeth.
Considerations for Dental Implants
Before getting dental implants, the candidate needs to meet some basic qualifications. The individual needs to be generally healthy, they will need to have sufficient jawbone, and they need to have healthy gums. If there is insufficient jawbone, bone grafting can be done prior to getting the implants to make it of sufficient size. This will need to take place about four to six months ahead of the implant surgery. You also cannot use tobacco, which will hinder healing.
Your missing teeth can be replaced with several options that will restore your beautiful smile.
You can learn more about your tooth replacement options from ToothHQ Board Certified Periodontists. We provide affordable dental implants, dentures, and bridges, as well as all kinds of cosmetic dentistry and dental care for the whole family. Our offices are in the Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Mockingbird and Grapevine, TX areas and nearly all dental insurance plans are accepted. For a FREE Dental Implants consultation , you can contact our office today at 214-731-0123