As an implant dentist, we specialize in replacing teeth using a permanent solution, dental implants. We feel that this is the best option for replacing missing teeth, however, we understand that it can be confusing to understand all of the options since both dentures and dental bridges are also used to replace teeth. While they all provide a viable option, there are clear pros and cons to each treatment. With that in mind, here is what you need to know.
Pros and Cons of Missing Teeth Solutions
This method of replacing teeth has been common for hundreds of years with even our Founding Fathers wore dentures, consisting of animal bone and human teeth. These dentures were smelly and did not last very long but, fortunately, technology has improved and today’s dentures consist of a synthetic material that mimics the appearance of natural gums and teeth. Dentures can last for a long time, providing an effective method to eat and speak without major issues.
When wearing dentures, however, it can be difficult to eat certain harder foods. People with a full set of dentures may even lose some of the flavor sensations from the past. Simultaneously, if the fit is not perfect, the dentures can slip out of place or make a clicking sound when eating or speaking. Patients must also remove the dentures at night and soak them.
People wearing a dental bridge, have a more permanent and natural-looking tooth replacement option. As an implant dentist, we even have some patients that combine the concept of a bridge with implants, by preparing a set of teeth and then implanting them as a unit, rather than one at a time. Traditionally, when people wear dental bridges, we place the bridges by securing the dental crown onto the two teeth surrounding the missing one. Then these crowns hold the bridge and synthetic tooth, or teeth, in place.
Once secure, it is possible to eat most foods, and the bridge looks entirely natural. The main challenge with a bridge is that the other teeth must be in place and strong enough to withstand the procedure. This will, however, make permanent changes to the makeup of those teeth that we cannot reverse.
As an implant dentist, we prefer dental implants because an implant does not require the strength or existence of any other teeth. Instead, dental implants rely on their own strength through the process of osseointegration. In this procedure, we implant a titanium post under the gums and secure it to the jawbone.
The bone and metal will fuse together to create a root system that the new tooth attaches to. With a new root system in place, the new tooth behaves like a natural one and is just as durable. Medically, the main benefit to this solution over the others is that the implant will actually strengthen the jawbone and prevent future bone loss.
To learn more about working with an implant dentist, call Thomas Dental Care at (530) 486-1104 and schedule a consultation.
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