Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tooth Replacement Options

No one wants to loose their teeth, but sometimes situations arise where a tooth must go. Trauma, retained baby teeth, bone loss and abscesses are all examples of why you might need to replace a tooth.  At The Cosmetic Dentist, we want you to know your options.  There are three different treatment options available when a tooth is lost: Dental Implants, Fixed Bridges, or Removable Partial Dentures.

1. Dental Implants
This type of restoration is as close to a natural tooth as possible.  The Implant itself is used to replace the root structure of the missing tooth.  It is placed below the gum in the bone.  Sometimes, when the tooth is extracted, a bone graft is placed at that time to prepare the area for an implant.  The bone needs to be thick and dense so it can grow around the implant to lock it into place.  The process of integrating the implant into the bone is known as osseointegration.  When the implant is ready, anywhere from 3-6 months, a crown can be placed on it.  This will now serve as a functional tooth.  Because there is no actual tooth anatomy left, it will not decay.  This is the best option for tooth replacement.

2. Fixed Bridge
Some people are unable to have an implant.  They may have waited to long and the bone is not strong enough, or grafting fails.  In this type of restoration, the 2 teeth around the missing tooth are crowned and a fake tooth is attached between them.  This is a permanent restoration, not able to be removed, cemented on to the teeth around the missing tooth.

3. Removable Partial Denture
This option can replace 1 tooth or many teeth, and is the only removable
option.  This attaches to the the teeth with clasps and is not always stable.  They can be worn throughout the day, but should be removed and soaked while you are sleeping.  This is the least expensive option, but patients have the hardest time adjusting to this appliance. 

If you are missing a tooth, or teeth, and you would like more information, call us to set up a consultation so we can discuss your specific needs.

Information in this article from