Replacing missing or damaged teeth is the key to restoring your smile, your oral health and your over-all quality of life. Missing teeth can lead to secondary dental health concerns that could have a lasting impact on your health. Patients with missing teeth are more prone to gum disease, additional tooth loss and even bone loss.
For patients who are missing teeth, choosing the best option to replace them can be a stressful decision. Dr. Brent L. Blaylock offers many options at his Durham, NC dentist office including dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures. Below, we will help you weigh the pros and cons of each option to help you make a well informed decision. In almost all cases he will recommend dental implants because they deliver over a 95% success rate and offer the best long term oral health benefits.
A dental bridge is a tooth replacement option for patients missing a single tooth or several consecutively missing teeth. It works by bridging the gap between teeth. The bridgework is a series of prosthetic teeth linked together and supported by an anchor on either side of the gap. A dental bridge is supported by the surrounding natural teeth which require grinding down in order to provide a place to attach the bridge. Damaging your surrounding teeth is something every dentist will want to avoid if possible. When compared to dental implants, a dental bridge is a more affordable option if you’re missing teeth. The downside is they will not last as long and require a lot of extra care, repairs, and even replacement.
Dentures are false teeth and are an option for people who are missing most or all of their teeth. They are made in a dental lab with impressions of your mouth. Dentures are made up of a base that is typically made of acrylic resin and metal that will rest on your gums. The teeth portion are attached to the base and typically made of plastic or porcelain but can differ depending on quality, color and size. The only real pros to choosing dentures are the cost and time to complete them. Dentures cost significantly less than dental implants in the beginning and they will ready for you in about 3-6 weeks. However, there are dietary restrictions, fears of falling out or slipping, extra care and repairs, and the risk of bone loss when you choose dentures to replace your missing teeth.
Dental Implants are the only permanent solution for missing teeth. Dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. The implant is surgically implanted into the jaw bone so it actually replaces the root of the tooth, becoming fully integrated with the bone. This will prevent bone loss and makes the dental restoration extremely durable. They feel and look just like your natural teeth, offer no dietary restrictions, and will give your smile a natural appearance. Durham, NC dentist, Dr. Blaylock offers many different types of dental implants to his patients missing one, several, or all of their teeth. However, dental implants are generally the most expensive replacement option but patients with dental implants often experience no maintenance requirements or additional costs. Also, not all patients qualify for dental implants. You should be healthy and have sufficient bone structure to support the implant.