Implants vs. Dentures and Bridges
You may lose your teeth for a variety of reasons. Common causes of tooth loss include gum disease, facial trauma, and severe tooth decay. In some cases, the teeth may fall out on their own. In other cases, the teeth may require extraction. No matter how it happens, tooth loss can have a significant impact on just about every aspect of your life. Losing even one single tooth can have a major impact. Replacing a missing tooth is essential for restoring the functions of your missing tooth as well as your quality of life. At Smiles of Tulsa we can replace your missing tooth with implants, dentures, or bridges.
Dental implants are a modern treatment for replacing missing teeth. This treatment involves surgically placing small titanium posts into your jawbone. As you heal from the procedure, your jawbone fuses to the posts. This is a natural process called osseointegration. The bone fuses gradually, stabilizing the posts in your jaw. This turns them into strong replacement roots that hold your replacement teeth securely in place. The teeth are screwed into place onto the posts. Implants are incredibly versatile and can replace a single missing tooth, multiple teeth, or even a full arch of missing teeth.
Dentures are the preferred choice for many of our patients. This is because they are relatively fast and easy to attain. They do not require any surgery to fit them properly. They are also quite affordable, and some patients may be able to have their dentures completed in just one day. For patients who do not want to delay getting their teeth restored, this may be the ideal choice for them.
There are two major types of dentures that we fit our patients with here in our office. These include partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures are better for patients who are just missing a few teeth. A partial denture, unlike a bridge, can be removed from your mouth for cleaning. It is made up of several artificial teeth that can be attached to your remaining teeth by a metal framework. Complete dentures, however, can replace an entire arch (the upper or lower jaw) of missing teeth.
A bridge is a common dental restoration used to replace a single missing tooth, although they can be used to replace up to three consecutive missing teeth. There are a few different types of bridges that may be used. A fixed bridge is the most common dental bridge. This type of bridge consists of an artificial tooth, called a pontic tooth, that fills in the empty space left behind by your missing tooth.
There are also two dental crowns, one on each side of the pontic tooth, which are there to attach the bridge to the teeth adjacent to the empty space. These teeth are referred to as abutment teeth. The abutment teeth are prepared, meaning a portion of the enamel is removed, which creates space for the bridge. Then, the crowns are bonded into place on the abutment teeth, anchoring the bridge securely in place.
Replacing missing teeth is essential for more than just aesthetics. By replacing missing teeth, we are also able to help restore the functions of those teeth and your quality of life. For more information on implants, dentures, and bridges, and to schedule your consultation, call Smiles of Tulsa at (918) 891-3059 today. We can help determine which is the right choice for you.