The American College of Prosthodontists estimates that some 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, and approximately 178 million are missing at least one tooth. Those numbers are expected to increase as baby boomers continue to age. Tooth loss can be the result of severe decay and periodontal disease or the result of traumatic injury, cancer, or abnormal wear. Regardless of the reason, tooth replacement is vital in order to avoid other oral health problems and even consequences to your general health. I offer several different options for tooth replacement.
For the most natural look and greatest reliability, no tooth replacement option can beat dental implants. While both crown and bridge and dentures only replace the crowns of your teeth, dental implants also replace the roots. Thus, whether your tooth restoration is a porcelain crown for a single missing tooth or an implant-retained denture for several missing teeth, the implant firmly anchors your new smile in your jawbone. With dental implants, our patients are able to speak, chew and smile as well as when they had a full set of natural teeth.
Crown and Bridge Therapy
One very good choice is a bridge. This prosthetic device is used to rebuild a dentition that is missing one or more teeth. A bridge is fabricated as a single unit by a skilled ceramist at a dental lab. The crowns are cemented to healthy teeth on either side of the gap in your smile. In turn, these crowns hold the false teeth—also called pontics—in place across the open space in your dental arch. This fixed prosthesis totally restores your ability to chew properly.
Depending on whether you are missing all of the teeth along an arch or you have sporadic tooth loss, restorative options might be either a full denture or a partial denture. A full denture consists of false teeth that are mounted on a plastic gum-colored base. The denture rests on top of your gums and is held securely in place by a combination of suction and muscular tension in your cheeks. Some patients also use a denture adhesive for greater security. Dentures function the best if they are combined with at least two implants in a dental arch.
A partial denture is also made of false teeth on a base, but is designed to fit between or among your remaining teeth. This prosthesis slips in and out of your mouth and is secured with metal clips or brackets.
Call Our Office Today
If you would like to learn more about your choices for tooth replacement, then contact us to schedule a consultation.