Non-Implant Tooth Replacement Options
There are a number of options for patients who need to replace missing teeth. While dental implants are the most secure option, not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. Implants are significantly more expensive than other restorations and you have to be healthy enough overall to end your implant surgery.
Fortunately, there are a couple of great options out there for patients who are unable to have dental implants placed. Removable dentures and dental bridges are two non-invasive dental prosthesis options common with smile restorations.
Partial and Complete Dentures
Dentures use porcelain teeth set in an acrylic base to replace some or all teeth in one or both arches. Unlike dentures of years past, today’s modern dentures are much more aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking. They are also much more comfortable than they used to be! With proper care and maintenance, dentures can easily last up to 10 years.
Partial dentures are used to replace teeth missing in one area of the mouth. A partial denture attaches to healthy neighboring teeth for stability. Metal or acrylic clasps enable the partial to snap into place and to be removed for cleaning and sleeping.
Complete dentures are used to replace an entire arch of missing teeth. You can have a complete denture on either the upper or lower arch or both. Complete dentures are held in place using an adhesive product alongside retention and suction. Dentures are easily removed for cleaning and sleeping.
Types of Dental Bridges
A more stable and permanent option is to have a dental bridge placed. Bridges cannot be removed for cleaning as they are cemented in place so caring for them is a little more involved. Your dentist will show you how to incorporate new techniques into your home care to make sure that your bridge is flossed and brushed properly every day. A dental bridge can last up to 15 years.
Tooth-supported bridges are fabricated using one or more fake teeth, or pontics, with crowns attached on the ends. The pontic acts as the missing tooth and sits on the gums as the crowns on either end are cemented permanently to the adjacent teeth.
Maryland bridges are also attached to neighboring teeth but do not require those teeth to be prepared for crowns. Instead of crowns, the pontic is held in place with attachments that are cemented to the back of the neighboring teeth. Maryland bridges are not as stable as tooth-supported bridges so they are really only ideal for anterior teeth.
After you receive your dental prosthesis, it is important to make sure that you maintain good home care and regular visits to your dentist. These visits will allow your dentist to make sure that your prosthesis is in good shape and is not fractured or otherwise compromised. It is also important to allow your dentist to take x-rays annually in the area of your restoration to make sure that the anchoring teeth are healthy.
More Information on Dental Bridges : What is a Maryland Dental Bridge?