What options are available to replace missing teeth?
The three main options to replace missing teeth are removable options (such as full of partial dentures), fixed bridges, and dental implants. Among the three options, dental implants are far and away today’s best, and most lifelike, option. Dental implants replace the missing root of a tooth and can either have a crown placed into it to replace individual teeth, or can be used as an anchorage device to stabilize loose dentures.
Both the surgical and the restorative parts of this procedure are done here in the comfort of our Prairieville/Baton Rouge dental office. Sedation is not needed, but often opted for with this procedure.
Fixed bridges are similar to having a tooth prepared for a crown. The difference here, is that at least one tooth on each side of the space has to be prepared so that there is room to cement the bridge over the two prepared teeth. A prosthetic tooth, or teeth, fills in the gap and gives the appearance of a natural tooth.
Removable full or partial dentures are used to replace several or all of the missing teeth. These devices are made from acrylic, which is a plastic-like substance. The problem with removable devices is that they tend to get looser over time. The reason for this is that, when teeth are removed, bone is lost every year for the rest of the patient’s life.
The only way that bone will not be lost is if it has something in it to stimulate it (teeth or a dental implant). For this reason, a removable device will need to be remade about every 5 or so years for the rest of a patient’s life.