If you are missing one or more teeth, your oral surgeon in Bala Cynwyd will be happy to discuss options for replacing those gaps in your mouth. Below are short descriptions of the most common tooth replacement options. There are benefits and costs to each of them, which is why it is so important to discuss the options with a dental expert.
Keep in mind that there is rarely only one opportunity to resolve your dental issues. It is important to maintain an active and ongoing conversation with your oral surgeon in Philadelphia, so that you can continue to explore different options.
Teeth Replacement Option: Bridges
A tooth-supported fixed bridge is a common tooth replacement option. But bear in mind that the process of adding such a bridge will damage healthy teeth. Specifically, the procedure involves grinding away at healthy, adjacent teeth, then adding a bridge across those teeth to support a crown. Because there is no tooth or implant stimulating the jawbone, the natural bone underneath a tooth-supported bridge may deteriorate over time, changing the appearance of your smile and face.
A resin-bonded bridge means bonding metal or porcelain wings on either side of the bridge to existing teeth. Often a better option than removable partial dentures, this tooth replacement option is typically not as long lasting as dental implants. As with the tooth-supported bridge, bone underneath a resin-bonded bridge may deteriorate over time, changing the appearance of smile and face.
Teeth Replacement Option: Dentures
Removable partial dentures are an easy and simple solution, but they may have stability and comfort issues. For instance, they may affect speech and eating patterns. As is true of other non-implant options, the bone underneath a removable partial denture may deteriorate which may alter smile and face.
A complete denture set is a low-cost alternative to dental implants. However, the replacement costs of a complete denture set can be significant in the long run. Perhaps more importantly, dentures can be awkward (e.g. they can click in the mouth when you speak, eat, laugh or cough), uncomfortable, and limit the ability to taste and fully enjoy food. The same deterioration issue affecting removable partial dentures will also affect a complete denture set.
Teeth Replacement Option: Dental Implants
Dental implants have many advantages. They are more natural looking than the other options, and they are typically more stable and last longer. They also have the important advantage of stimulating the bone under the tooth, thus avoiding bone loss and any resulting change in facial appearance. While dental implants may have a higher up-front cost, they tend to last longer, making them cost effective in the long run.
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American Association of Dental Implant Dentistry