Just mentioning dentures can cause some dental patients to tremble with fear. They would do anything to keep from getting dentures, including sticking with unhealthy, painful, and damaged teeth. And it’s no wonder. Traditional dentures have a terrible track record. Many fit poorly, don’t stay in the mouth, and make it hard to eat.
However, dentures aren’t the only way to replace lost teeth. LVI trained cosmetic dentist, Dr. Pamela Marzban, offers our patients several solutions for replacing one or more missing teeth. Dentures have long been considered an adequate solution for tooth replacement, but they can be uncomfortable, and they are incapable of preventing jaw collapse, a common consequence of missing teeth. Working with Dr. Marzban, the best option for replacing your teeth can be determined.
Alternatives to Dentures
The two alternatives to dentures offered:
- Dental bridges – one of three types of bridges can be used to replace one or more missing teeth
- Dental implants – the only permanent solution for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are inserted directly into your jaw and accepted as a natural tooth root
Which of these options is best for you depends on your situation.
With a Little Help from Your Friends
Dental bridges are a time-honored solution to tooth loss. When we place a dental bridge, your remaining teeth support the replacements. A bridge combines one or more replacement teeth with dental crowns. The dental crowns go over natural teeth, supporting the replacements.
While there are many advantages to dental bridges, they also have drawbacks. A bridge lets you chew naturally: you don’t have to give up any of your favorite foods. They’re not removable. Instead, they’re securely bonded to your natural teeth, so they don’t fall out. However, dental bridges can put your natural teeth at risk. Supporting replacement teeth stresses your natural teeth, which can make them fail. To avoid this, we usually limit the situations where we use dental bridges. We only place bridges when one replacement tooth can get support from two healthy natural teeth.
Just Like Natural Teeth
All things considered, dental implants are the best tooth replacement option. Dental implants look like natural teeth. They function like natural teeth, so you can eat a healthy, varied diet of delicious foods. In addition, dental implants require no special care: just brush, floss, and make regular dental visits. Unlike dental bridges, we can use implants in any situation. We can replace one tooth, an entire arch of teeth, or anything in between.
And that’s not all the benefits of dental implants. When you care for them properly, dental implants can last a lifetime. Studies show good survival rates at 10, 20, even 30 years! Incredibly, anecdotal evidence goes even further: some implants are still in place after 50 years! That’s practically the first implants ever placed!
Are You a Candidate for Implants?
If you are considering implants, then you’re probably a candidate. To get dental implants, you only have to meet three criteria:
- Missing one or more teeth
- Healthy enough for surgery
- Be an adult with a fully developed jaw
However, other factors may impact your odds of success, or require additional procedures. We can talk about these factors during your consultation.