The Best Options for Replacing Your Missing Teeth

There are so many artificial tooth replacements on the market that it can be difficult to parse out the stand-out differences between them all. This is a comprehensive guide to the major three types of tooth restorations in modern dentistry. Read on in this blog from Glen Valley Dentistry to learn more about implants, bridges, dentures, and full arch implants.

1. Dental Implants

A dental implant is a method of replacing a single tooth by restoring the tooth’s root and crown. This procedure involves two oral surgeries which are separated by 3 to 6 months. The first surgery is the implantation of the titanium post. 

Then, osseointegration (the fusion of the implant and jaw bone) will need to occur which can take 3 to 6 months. Once that’s completed, we can reopen your gums to attach an abutment. Then, impressions are taken of your teeth to create your dental crown. Implants can last for a lifetime if you practice good oral hygiene. 

You will be able to eat whatever you want and your tooth will look and feel completely natural. Best of all, the stimulation provided to the implant will prevent bone loss. This means you won’t suffer from facial sagging and lack of facial muscle support.

Full arch implants combine the security, durability, and bone loss prevention of dental implants with the full restorative abilities of dentures or bridges. A series of implants placed in the jaw can support an entire arch of removable or fixed teeth. Because they’re held in place with implants, they won’t shift or move.

2. Dental Bridges

While a dental bridge cannot prevent bone loss, it can fill gaps in your smile and restore tooth functionality. Bridges connect a series of artificial teeth. On either side of the gap in your mouth, you will have abutment teeth that will act as the anchor for the bridge. 

These teeth will receive dental crowns. In between the crowns, where there is a gap, a pontic tooth will be suspended to fill this space. A bridge can last for 5 to 7 years before needing to be replaced and because it is cemented to your teeth, it will not shift around. 

However, you will have to carefully and thoroughly clean your bridge so food particles don’t become trapped in between the bridge and your gums.

3. Dentures

There are different types of dentures available, known as full and partial dentures. Both are a set of removable false teeth and gums. However, a partial denture only replaces a few missing teeth, while full dentures replace an entire arch or both arches of teeth.

Partial dentures are connected through a metal wire framework that attaches to metal clasps placed around the abutment teeth in the mouth. They can replace missing teeth on both sides of the mouth, unlike a dental bridge. Partial dentures have a maximum lifespan of 15 years.

Full dentures are only for patients with extensive tooth loss because you will need to extract your remaining teeth. A full denture will restore your ability to speak clearly and chew your food more easily. 

It can also restore your confidence in your smile. Full dentures are held in place by suction. They can take about a month to get used to. Full dentures have a lifespan of about 5 to 10 years. 

However, because they don’t prevent bone loss and in some cases can accelerate bone loss, your facial structure may change over time which can cause your dentures to become ill-fitting. You may need to have them replaced sooner than the dentures can last.

Restorative Options At Glen Valley Dentistry

Now that you’ve heard the pros and cons of all of these restoration methods, you’re probably wondering which one is best for you. The best way to determine if you’re a good candidate for a certain restoration is to come in for a consultation. Contact our Calendonia dentists today to schedule a consultation.