Tooth Replacement Options

Q: If I’ve lost a tooth, are there Tooth Replacement Options?

A: Yes, many Tooth Replacement Options are readily available. Some choices would include: permanent fixed bridges, dental implants, acid etched bridges and chair-side bonded bridges, all of which provide a permanent solution to missing and lost teeth.

Naturally there are advantages as well as disadvantages to every option. It is a good idea to speak with a qualified dentist to analyze your choices.  Your dentist will examine the bone structure of the affected area, as well as the healthy neighboring teeth, and will consider your general medical health, age and financial capacity.

Q: What are my Tooth Replacement Options?

A: The answer really depends on your specific situation.  Some people may be missing only a single tooth, and other people may be missing multiple teeth in different locations, so the solutions would vary.  We will discuss three tooth replacement options here, Bridges, Implants, Acid etched bridges and chair-side bonded bridges.

Tooth Replacement Options: Bridges

Fixed bridges have been used for more than 50 years, and are a permanent dental restoration.  The procedure is done by taking an impression of the area, fabricating a bridge, and then installing the bridge by drilling the enamel of the nearby teeth. This type of procedure is very conventional and has been widely used by dentists to help people with missing teeth, but now dental implants have become one of the best types of tooth replacement options. The bridge procedure is still carried out if the patient’s condition truly warrants it. Should a patient have insufficient bone tissue, then the fixed bridge is the best option. Moreover, the fixed bridges are occasionally still favored by most patients who have lost teeth, because a bridge connects these teeth together.

The price for a dental bridge is comparable to an implant.  Because the teeth are joined you must learn how to floss and clean the area properly. The benefit of having a fixed bridge is that the process can be completed quicker compared to some types of dental implants. There is also no surgical procedure involved, only augmenting your existing teeth.

The downside to the dental bridge is that it puts added pressure and stress on the two teeth that support the bridge, which may cause issues down the road.  The other note is that the underlying bone structure that supported the missing teeth will begin to deteriorate.  To alleviate these two issues, many patients choose to have dentures or a dental bridge installed using dental implants for support.

Tooth Replacement Options: Dental Implants

Nowadays, dental implants are becoming one of the more common tooth replacement options.  Since mid- 1980’s the dental implants has already been around and is the prime choice to replace a missing tooth. Dental implants are composed of titanium, which means that they are durable and will last.

A good candidate for an implant must have enough bone tissue and soft tissue to be able to hold the dental implant. To begin with, a screw is fixed in your jaw bone where the missing tooth was. This screw is specifically made with an exterior material to aid in the bone modification, which will permit it to attach more easily to your bone. The entire healing process will take around 3 months, after which a cap or a crown can now be attached to the implant.

The success rate for the dental implants is roughly 95%, and one advantage is that you can floss it normally, as the missing tooth does not touch the other teeth. One drawback for this procedure would be a lack of bone tissue.  If a dental implant is the best solution, then you will need to have a bone graft to ensure there is adequate bone tissue to support the implant.  The healing process for a bone graft will also add a few months to the process.

Tooth Replacement Options: Chairside Bonded Bridges & Acid-Etched Bridges

Chairside bonded bridges and Acid-Etched Bridges are short term tooth replacement options.  They typically last from 1 to 10 years, there have been cases where they have fallen out after 5 years, but there are also cases where they have lasted more than ten years.  This choice will also cost a bit less than the other tooth replacement options.  This process will replace a lost tooth without covering up or augmenting any of the neighboring teeth. The acid-etched bridge can be made at a dental laboratory after a tooth impression has been taken.

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