Restorative dentistry can help improve the appearance and overall health of your smile after experiencing tooth loss or damage from disease, injury or other causes. It is important to seek proper treatment for lost or damaged teeth in order to prevent further damage and relieve difficulties with eating or speaking. There are several restorative options available to patients depending upon their overall health, doctor’s recommendations and personal preference.
Tooth loss is a common condition that can occur as a result of disease, trauma or poor dental hygiene. The best treatment for tooth loss is to replace the missing tooth, which can help prevent gum damage and tooth damage, as well as restore comfort and confidence in social situations. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root used to support tooth replacement structures such as crowns, bridges and dentures. Dental implants help patients regain the ability to eat, speak and smile without the pain and embarrassment of missing teeth.
Dental implants are titanium cylinders that are surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace the roots of the missing tooth. The replacement structure is supported by the implant, and looks and feels like a natural tooth. Implants offer permanent results and full functionality, which can result in people not knowing that you lost teeth in the first place.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer many benefits over other tooth replacement methods. Implants provide a natural replacement that looks and feels like your own tooth. Since the implants are drilled directly into the gum and act as a natural tooth root would, patients can enjoy the same comfort and confidence they experienced before tooth loss.
Implants provide sturdy, long-lasting results by preventing bone loss and gum recession. They do not sacrifice the strength of neighboring teeth like traditional bridges do, preserving your overall tooth health with added strength and reliability.
Cosmetic dentures are prosthetic devices designed to help patients with missing teeth perform daily activities that would otherwise be difficult. Patients who have lost their natural teeth due to decay, periodontal disease or injury may suffer from further decay, and difficulty eating and speaking. The absence of teeth can also lead to a sunken, collapsed appearance in the mouth area. By restoring the physical presence of teeth, this malformation is corrected and the patient can maintain their normal appearance.
There are three types of dentures: full (complete) dentures, fixed partial dentures and removable partial dentures. Most patients only require partial dentures, as they are only missing a few teeth. Additionally, most partial dentures are fixed in place by the crown-and-bridge technique, and those who possess removable partial dentures are usually exempt from the fixed version due to complicating factors.
Dental Bridges (fixed partial dentures)
Dental bridges are natural-looking tooth replacements that help maintain facial structure, reduce stress on the jaw and fill in the gaps caused by missing teeth. Fixed bridges are cemented to the existing teeth and do not come out. Removable bridges can be taken out.
A dental bridge can be used to:
- Restore your smile
- Reduce your risk of gum disease
- Restore your ability to bite and chew
- Improve your speech
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are three main types of bridges:
Traditional bridges, also known as fixed bridges, are used to replace one or more missing teeth. The procedure involves creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (false tooth) in between. Unlike dentures, fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth. These are the most common type of dental bridge and are made either of porcelain fused to metal or of ceramics.
Resin Bonded Bridges
Resin bonded bridges, also known as Maryland bonded bridges, are primarily used for your front teeth. They are less expensive than fixed bridges and are best when the teeth are healthy and do not have any large fillings. A false tooth is fused with resin to metal bands that are bonded to the adjacent teeth and hidden from view. Resin bonded bridges require minimal preparation of the adjacent teeth.
Cantilever bridges are used in areas of your mouth that are under low amounts of stress, such as your front teeth. Cantilever bridges are recommended when there are teeth on only one side of the open space.
Implant Supported Dentures
Implant-supported dentures are dentures that are anchored directly to the jaw bone. Implants are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a strong anchor for replacement teeth or dentures. Implants are usually made out of titanium. Implant-supported dentures are an option that makes dentures more secure, and are not as costly as replacing each individual tooth with a single implant.
Regular dentures rest on the gums and rely on tissue and bone for support. An implant-retained denture, however, has special attachments that snap onto dental implants that have been strategically placed in the bone for support. These attachments can provide a range of tightness depending on your comfort level but will still allow the denture to be easily removed when necessary.
The number of implants necessary can vary for every patient but is often as minimal as only two implants for the lower jaw. While most patients usually only require implants on the lower jaw because of the inherent lack of support for a denture there, both the upper and lower areas of the mouth can greatly benefit from implant-retained dentures.
Benefits of Implant Supported Dentures
Dentures anchored directly to the jawbone provide functional and aesthetic benefits for patients that may include:
- Secure and Easy to Maintain
- Bone Preservation
- Palate Preservation
- Adhesive Free
- Improved Bite
Implant Supported Denture Procedure
The implant supported denture procedure is performed in two phases. In the first phase, surgery is performed to place the implants in the jawbone under the gums. Once the gums heal from the surgery, the second phase can be performed which is when the dentures can be placed into the mouth and attached to the implants
Teeth-in-a-Day is a new procedure that gives patients with missing teeth a brand-new smile in a single office visit. With traditional dental implant techniques, it can take several appointments and up to six months or more before patients are ready to receive their replacement teeth. Teeth-in-a-Day replaces missing or damaged teeth with full function and an excellent cosmetic result in just one day. This procedure is done with a team of dental specialists to provide the best care. Dr. Bryon Davis will be happy to discuss this option with you.
How is this possible?
During the patient’s visit, the missing tooth or teeth are removed. Then a dental implant is placed for each tooth to be replaced. Finally a temporary acrylic crown, bridge or denture is cemented in place that looks, feels and functions like the natural teeth. This allows patients to enjoy a full and healthy smile immediately instead of waiting months for the implant to heal. At a later appointment, the temporary teeth are replaced with permanent custom-crafted porcelain teeth.