There are multiple options for replacing one or more teeth, each designed to deal with different patient specific situations. If you want to improve your smile and bite, find out if one of these solutions suits your needs.
A bridge is a type of tooth replacement that uses existing teeth as anchors to fill the vacant area. This option is often used when dealing with one or more missing teeth. The bridge closes the gap with a false tooth, typically made from ceramic to blend with your natural teeth.
A traditional bridge uses the adjacent teeth, which are called abutment teeth, to replace one or more missing teeth in between. It does this by capping, or crowning, the existing teeth with a false tooth/teeth connected to these crowns.
While dental bridges are effective for dealing with one or more missing teeth, they are not suitable for everyone. Bridges require a strong foundation. If the adjacent teeth are too weak or too severely decayed, a bridge may not be a viable option. Another situation that may not be appropriate for a dental bridge is when a tooth that would need to be crowned for a bridge, would not benefit from a crown. This is the case when a tooth has little to no existing fillings, cracks or decay and would otherwise be strong enough by itself without the need of a crown.
If your adjacent teeth offer proper support and warrant crowns, dental bridges can help restore your smile and ability to chew properly. You may also notice that your speech and pronunciation improve.
Dentures are removable plates that hold one or more false teeth. When replacing an entire row of teeth, the dentures are called full dentures. Partial dentures on the other hand, only replace several teeth, offering a removable alternative to a dental bridge.
Full dentures and partial dentures are custom-made to fit your mouth. We take a scan or impression of your mouth to create a gum-coloured acrylic base. This base fits over your gums and covers the roof of your mouth in the case of an upper denture. Artificial teeth are secured to the base to give a natural look.
Dentures can last a long time with proper care. However, they still need to be relined, rebased, or remade due to natural wear. They are also fragile and prone to damage when dropped. Despite a few potential drawbacks, dentures remain an affordable option for those who are missing most or all their teeth.
Dental implants provide a more permanent solution compared to dentures. You can think of an implant as an artificial tooth root. It is in the shape of a screw and inserted into the jawbone. The gum tissue heals around the implant, creating a sturdy base to support one or more artificial teeth.
A small connector is attached to the dental implant to hold the artificial teeth or dentures in place. This is the only dental restoration process that helps preserve your natural bone by stimulating bone growth and protecting against further bone loss.
Compared to dentures, there is less risk of your artificial teeth falling out or receiving damage when eating or chewing. The implants are designed to last a lifetime. However, you need adequate bone and healthy gums to support the dental implant.
Bridges, dentures, and implants are common choices for tooth replacement. To learn which one is best for you, schedule an appointment at WA Dental.