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Tooth Replacement Options

Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?

There are several reasons: A dental bridge can sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge the space of the missing tooth/teeth, and bridges are difficult to clean. In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.

You can select from a number of different options to replace your missing teeth – from temporary to long-lasting solutions.

A good candidate for implants is anyone missing one or more teeth, or who is unhappy with their dentures. Age is not a factor. However, smoking, diseases such as diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area, have been shown to lower the success rate of implant placement. X-rays and a Cone Beam CT scan of your jaws will be taken to evaluate whether they will accommodate implants.

Option 1: Dental Implants

Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or can be secured to specialized dentures to support, stabilize, and keep the dentures in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged. Unlike most bridges, implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.

Option 2: Fixed Bridges

A fixed bridge is a connected set of replacement teeth. The adjacent teeth are ground down for retention of the bridge, which is damaging to the adjacent teeth. For support, it is cemented into position on top of the ground down teeth adjacent to the empty space. Cleaning underneath bridges can be difficult.

Option 3: Flipper

A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”. These are not long-term solutions and are usually used to temporize an area during healing after extraction of a tooth.

Option 4: Metal Partial Denture

A less fragile option is a removable partial denture cast in metal and plastic. It is held in place by wire clips. A removable partial denture can be removed and reinserted when required by the patient. Any denture can be uncomfortable and feel bulky in a patient’s mouth. They also need to be adjusted and replaced and are subject to breaking or distorting.

Option 5: Denture

The most common solution for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws is complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. However the large majority find them uncomfortable, bulky, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape. Patients usually have the most problems with the lower denture.


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