When it comes to replacing missing teeth you have a few options, including dentures, bridges, or dental implants. Today, our Ajax dentists explain the difference between these common restorative procedures.
What are Dentures?
One of the restorative dental procedures we offer for missing teeth is dentures. Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are created by a dentist or denturist and formed to fit your mouth. They replace lost or removed natural teeth. They are custom-designed to fit your mouth and are matched to your existing teeth.
Complete, or full dentures cover the entire top or bottom jaw to replace teeth that are all missing while partial dentures are used to replace one or multiple teeth in a row that are missing. Both of these options stay in place thanks to their custom-fitted design.
Implant-supported dentures are surgically secured to dental implants in your mouth.
Benefits of Dentures
Dentures tend to be a cost-effective way to replace missing teeth. It is also a non-invasive procedure, so patients who don't want or can't get surgery may want to consider dentures.
Dentures can change your confidence in your smile, make it easier to speak and chew, and support your bone and facial structure.
What are Bridges?
A bridge is similar to a partial denture but the key difference is that bridges are not removable. Bridges can be used to replace one or more missing teeth and extend across an area that has no natural teeth left. All bridges are custom-made to fit your mouth.
There are a number of different types of dental bridges:
Traditional Bridges - If you have healthy teeth on either side of your bridge, your denturist will file down the healthy teeth so that the bridge can sit comfortably on top of them.
Implant Bridges - If you don’t have healthy teeth or enough teeth to support a bridge, it will need to be supported using dental implants. We will talk more about dental implants in the dental implants section of this post.
Resin-Bonded Bridges - These are typically only used when you are missing front teeth. This type of bridge is created by fusing artificial teeth together using metal bands. The bands are then connected to the back of your natural teeth using dental cement.
Cantilever Bridges - These are used when you have healthy teeth on only one side of your missing tooth or teeth. A cantilever bridge is anchored in place by fitting it over one or more of your natural adjacent teeth, and unlike a traditional bridge is secured on only one side.
Benefits of Bridges
Dental bridges can provide many benefits, including restoring a natural look to your mouth/smile, restoring the ability to speak normally, helping patients with proper enunciation, maintaining facial structure, helping with eating, and preventing bone loss at the site of the missing tooth.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial titanium root that is inserted into your jawbone to replace the natural root of a tooth. Implants can be used to hold a single artificial tooth or a bridge of artificial teeth in place. If only one tooth needs to be replaced, then the single tooth is attached to the top of the implant. If several teeth need to be replaced, then a bridge is fitted on top of two anchoring implants.
Dental implants are not suitable for every patient. In order to get dental implants you must be in good health, have healthy gums, and have enough bone in your jaws to support the implant. However, if your jawbone is insufficient, you may be able to undergo a bone graft to build it up so that you can get a dental implant.
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many reasons patients chose to get dental implants, including helping with your speech, eating, and oral health. Dental implants are also long-lasting. With proper care, dental implants can last for 25 years or more.