If you’ve lost teeth due to decay, trauma, or periodontal disease, you’re not alone. Many adults experience missing teeth over the course of their lifetime.
In past generations, dentures were the only solution. Today, innovations in the dental industry mean that you can choose from a number of solutions based on the number of teeth you need to replace, where they are located, and aesthetic and budget considerations.
Here are the most common tooth replacement options, as well as the pros and cons of each.
Modern dentures look and feel much more natural than those our grandparents wore. Today, dentures allow you to eat and speak normally, and they effectively stop your facial muscles from sagging inward. There are several types of dentures to choose from based on your unique situation.
Pros: Dentures are an affordable solution, there is no surgery required, and they adequately support your lip and facial muscles.
Cons: They must be removed to be cleaned, which can be expensive and messy. Certain foods are off-limits, and they sometimes slip out of place when eating or speaking.
Dental bridges are prosthetic devices that consist of pontics, or fake teeth, held in place by dental crowns cemented to the surrounding teeth or implants. They can be used when you have natural teeth on either side of the empty space in your smile.
Depending on your situation, your dentist may also recommend a cantilever bridge or a Maryland bridge, which is less invasive, but also less sturdy than a traditional bridge.
Pros: Bridges are easy to care for and can be colored to match your natural teeth. Applying a fixed bridge is a simple procedure that doesn’t require surgery. They also keep teeth from drifting into the open space, preserving your bite alignment.
Cons: The surrounding natural teeth are usually filed down, which compromises their integrity. Bridges need to be replaced over time.
A dental implant consists of a titanium post surgically secured to the jawbone. An artificial tooth is then secured to the post, providing a permanent and aesthetically-pleasing solution to missing teeth. Because dental implants fuse with the underlying bone, they provide a sturdy framework for artificial teeth.
Pros: Implants are permanent, reduce bone loss, and look and feel just like your natural teeth.
Cons: They are more expensive than other options, and not everyone is a viable candidate for implants. They also require surgery and a lengthy healing process.
If you’re wondering which tooth-replacement option is right for you, give our office a call. We can walk you through each process so you can make an informed decision.