Non Implant Missing Tooth Replacement Options

When you and the dentist are reviewing the tooth replacement options to restore your smile, your options include three different kinds of bridges, partial and full dentures and dental implants.  While replacing a missing tooth is important to improve and maintain dental health, each tooth replacement option comes with benefits and drawbacks.  Not all options will be available to every patient based on your jaw bone health, gum health and the health of the teeth on either side of the missing tooth.  Even though there are bone and gum grafting procedures to help prepare your mouth for dental implants, not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants.

If you are someone who does not have a strong enough jaw bone or healthy enough teeth to support a dental implant to replace your missing teeth, there are a few non implant replacement options to close any gaps.  Depending on where the missing tooth is in your mouth, you may want to consider all the options before you commit to one.  Be sure to ask the dentist questions about each false tooth option so you have a clear idea of how your next step will progress towards a healthier mouth.  Non implant missing tooth/teeth replacements include:

Traditional bridge or tooth supported fixed bridge- This is the most common tooth replacement treatment alternative to dental implants.  Traditional dental bridges chapel hill nc are kept in place by attaching the false tooth to crowns placed on the teeth on either side of the missing tooth.  In order to secure the crowns into place, the dentist will grind away the tooth’s natural enamel.  Once the enamel is removed, the tooth will always need a crown to protect the tooth from decay and damage.  Because of the way that teeth are attached to each other, people have trouble flossing and preventing decay along the gum line through at home daily care.  In most cases, traditional bridges last about five to ten years before they need to be replaced.

Maryland bridge or bonded bridge- This bridge is ideal for a tooth towards the front of your mouth as it is not optimal for teeth that are used for heavy biting and chewing.  The replacement tooth has a wing-like attachment to bond the false tooth to the healthy teeth on either side.  These bridges do not require permanent damage to the teeth’s enamel and are more secure than a removable denture.  However, resin bonded bridges are not as strong as a traditional bridge and will not last as long as a dental implant.

Removable partial and complete dentures- Dentures sit on the gums and partial dentures can have some additional metal brackets to keep the fixture in place.  In general dentures are not as secure as implants so your speech may not be as clear and eating may prove to be more difficult.  Dentures are usually less expensive but aesthetically, they do not have the look or feel of natural teeth.  Over time, the jaw bone can deteriorate from the lack of teeth and the change in pressure on the bone from talking and chewing.  When the bone loses density, your face may change shape in a similar way it would from a missing tooth.

More information on dental bridges : What is a Maryland Dental Bridge?

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Cornerstone Family Dentistry Chapel Hill NC

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At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.