If you’re weighing your options for replacing missing teeth, your best bet is to go with the best possible option in terms of comfort, functionality and support of oral health right from the start to minimize the need for further treatment and expense later.
Aside from those practical concerns about future hassles, there is the appearance aspect to consider, which is quite important, so you’ll want to consider options in terms of how they’ll affect your smile.
While you’re probably eager to get back to normal, it’s important to take the time to research your options with care, since one that seems most convenient and economical now may cost you more in terms of maintenance and oral health issues later.
Option: Dental Implants
Whether you are replacing a single tooth, several teeth or all of them, dental implant restoration is clearly the best option available today for replacing missing teeth. That’s because dental implants are the only option that replaces both the tooth root and the visible portion of the tooth, resulting in restoration that closely resembles the structure of natural teeth. This is important for a number of reasons.
Firstly, replacing tooth roots offers vital support to natural oral structure, protecting against bone loss that occurs in a jawbone that has lost the stimulation provided by natural tooth roots. That stimulation is the signal that prompts the body to produce new bone cells to maintain jawbone size, strength and density, so the jawbone will atrophy, or shrink away, without it.
Secondly, replacing missing teeth by means of implant-based restoration results in more efficient oral function than other options, better preserving bite force, chewing efficiency and speech. Last, but certainly not least, restoration with dental implants result in replacement teeth that look and feel like natural ones, offering a more attractive and confident smile than other options.
Dental implant restoration offers several options in terms of the prosthetics used in replacing missing teeth. Typically, in single tooth replacement or implant supported bridges for the replacement of several teeth, patients can choose porcelain or ceramic crowns, among other options. For restoration after total tooth loss, a full arch of replacement teeth, supported by dental implants, is typically used.
These can be made of acrylic or porcelain, but the most comfortable, durable and natural looking option is the Prettau Bridge, which is constructed of Prettau zirconia. This strong, smooth material will not chip and has a much lower risk of fracture than other materials, and it creates little friction as it moves against other teeth, reducing risk of wear. Like natural teeth, Prettau zirconia has a translucent appearance, resulting in a more brilliant, natural-looking smile than porcelain or acrylic options, and it does not absorb liquids or odors, eliminating risk of stains and “denture breath.”
When Dental Implants Are Not An Option
While the vast majority of people can be fitted with dental implants successfully, there is a small percentage of people who are not good candidates for implant-base reconstruction. In these cases, the best options for replacing missing teeth include fixed bridges or partial dentures for the replacement of one missing tooth or several, or traditional partial or full dentures. If a full top or bottom denture is necessary, it is wise to choose yours with the priority on quality, rather than price. Well-made dentures can be very comfortable and, when constructed of quality materials, quite attractive.
Find out if you are a candidate for dental implants by requesting an appointment with Dr. Templeton.
Photo Credit: Andy Wright