If you have missing teeth or a missing tooth due to an injury, tooth decay, or gum disease, Dr. Rodney Horvat, and Dr. Scott Cohen at Periodontics & Implant Dentistry may recommend the dental implants procedure for tooth replacement. Standard treatment options for single tooth and multiple tooth loss include removable partial dentures, fixed partial dentures (bridges), or the dental implant procedure. All of these treatment options offer a number of short-term and long-term benefits, but dental implants continue to offer the highest success rates and positive outcomes for the patient.
Removable Partial Dentures
Removable partial dentures are units designed with a gum-colored plastic and replacement teeth held together by a metal support structure. The partial is attached to the gum line with a series of metal clasps. After placement, many patients are not pleased with the bulky feel and appearance of the denture, or with the metal aesthetic.
Fixed Partial Denture or Three Unit Bridge
A fixed partial denture, also known as a bridge, is designed to suspend the replacement tooth or teeth between the remaining teeth on either side. The new tooth is cemented in place to these other teeth, and the surrounding teeth must be ground down to allow the bridge to be fitted over them. Before dental implants, a bridge was considered to be the most effective method for replacing a single tooth. However, like partial dentures, it is not without its disadvantages. We have found that the use of a bridge often leads to jaw bone deterioration and tooth decay in the supporting teeth. These complications have made fixed bridges a less desirable option for tooth replacement, and dental implants are becoming a more widely-used alternative.
Dental Implants Procedure for Missing Teeth
The dental implants procedure continues to be the best option for most single tooth replacements and for treating missing teeth. It is considered to be the most natural treatment because the implant mirrors the lost tooth and root, and can effectively stimulate the jaw bone just like your real teeth. The bond formed when fusing the implant to the jaw bone is exceptionally strong and allows the implant to function just like a natural tooth. Since the implant supports surrounding bone and tissue, patients can chew and speak normally, and also maintain the health of remaining teeth, gum tissue, and bone.
Ultimately, implants offer a more permanent solution for missing teeth than other procedures. With regular care and maintenance, results can last a lifetime with only the crown of the implant needing to be replaced with extended use.
Want to learn more about the dental implants procedure and tooth replacement options for missing teeth? Call the periodontal professionals at Periodontics & Implant Dentistry for your consultation!