Regular dental check-ups, diligent brushing and flossing, and overall good care of teeth still cannot prevent tooth loss for countless individuals every year. Losing a tooth, or several teeth, can cause complications for a patient. Here are a couple tooth replacement options that are commonly used today: dental bridges, and dentures.
If you are missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in chewing and speaking. Bridges can help restore your smile. Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth and literally “bridges” the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and are attached to surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable bridge that you can take out and clean, only a dentist can remove a fixed bridge.
To create a dental bridge, a cosmetic dentist will reshape the adjacent teeth in the area to provide a connection for the bridge to span the space of the missing teeth. The bridge will be bonded or cemented to existing teeth and function without removal. Advantages to bridges include lasting on average 15 years before possibly needing a replacement and they do not interfere with eating based on their fixed placement.
No matter what type of bridge a patient receives, the restoration will have significant aesthetic and practical benefits. The new teeth will restore dental functionality and oral health. Additionally, thanks to new dental technology and aesthetic advances, today’s dental bridges are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. If you have lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. That is because dentures make it easier to eat and speak better than you could without teeth—things that people often take for granted.
When you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles can sag, making you look older. Dentures can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile. They can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile.
Types of dentures:
- Conventional. This full removable denture is made and placed in your mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed, which may take several months.
- Immediate. This removable denture is inserted on the same day that the remaining teeth are removed. Your dentist will take measurements and make models of your jaw during a preliminary visit. You do not have to be without teeth during the healing period, but may need to have the denture relined or remade after your jaw has healed.
- Overdenture. Sometimes some of your teeth can be saved to preserve your jawbone and provide stability and support for the denture. An overdenture fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth after the dentist has prepared them. Implants can serve the same function, too.
If you have any questions about dental implants or dentures, contact Dr. Natalie Nechvatal and Light Touch Dental Care at http://www.lighttouchdentalcare.com/ or call 419-866-4271. Be sure to schedule regular dental checkups, too!