Tooth loss takes a toll on a smile -- and, if a replacement is not made promptly, its effects can spread to your overall health as well. Fortunately, your restorative dentist at Canatella Dental offers a range of options for multiple tooth replacement. From fixed bridges to implant-retained dentures, you can find a wonderful solution to tooth loss right here. Keep reading to learn more about each, and which may be best for your smile.
There are several ways to replace multiple teeth. These are listed in more detail below.
A traditional fixed bridge, or crown and bridge, relies on using the teeth surrounding the gap in the smile as anchors. A crown will be placed on each anchor tooth, and these restorations provide a sturdy foundation for the prosthetics which fill in the gap between. A dental crown and bridge restores the function of the smile and prevents the surrounding teeth from drifting out of place. It is typically completed in a few weeks to a month.
For consecutively missing teeth, an implant-supported bridge provides improved stability and does not require the alteration of the teeth surrounding the gap in the smile. Stable implant posts will be placed beneath the gum line, where they gradually fuse together with the jaw bone in the process known as “osseointegration.” After this has occurred 4 to 6 months later, the implant posts are re-exposed and the bridge can be affixed on top. An implant-supported bridge is a fixed restoration which cannot be removed for cleaning.
Partial dentures replace several missing teeth located anywhere in the upper or lower jaw and are removable for increased convenience. A conventional denture rests on the surface of the gums, while an implant-supported denture snaps onto implant posts which have been placed beneath the gum line. Dentures are made from natural-looking materials to ensure that they blend well with the surrounding teeth.
Patients who are eligible for dental implants should strongly consider this solution for tooth loss. Nothing else promotes oral and overall health like dental implants, and restorations which are retained by implant posts last longer than those which rest directly on the gums. However, patients who have been missing teeth for a long time or who have experienced severe gum disease may be better suited for a non-implant option. We can help you determine which option is best for you during a consultation appointment.
The cost of your tooth replacement will depend on several factors, including which method you choose, how many teeth you are missing, where in the jaw they are located, and how healthy your jaw is in advance of the procedure. Dental implants cost more upfront because they are placed surgically using the highest-quality materials. However, given the significant benefits of implant dentistry, implant-retained replacement options usually end up being the best investment in the long run.