People lose teeth for a number of different reasons, such as tooth decay, gum disease, age, or underlying medical conditions like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with missing teeth often lack the confidence they had with a full smile. But there are ways to replace or rehabilitate missing teeth, so patients can regain the confidence that comes with a full, beautiful smile.
Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as a permanent base for replacement teeth. They’re designed to be used long-term, and the artificial teeth feel and function like natural teeth. They can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or a full set of teeth. Patients will need to have a strong jawbone to support the implants, and because surgery is involved, these are only recommended for patients in good health. When well cared for, these teeth can last for decades.
Fixed bridges are designed for use when one or more teeth are missing, but they’re not a replacement for a full set of teeth. The dentist attaches a bridge, made of metal, ceramic, glass-ceramic, or a combination of all, to the teeth on each side of the gap by cementing it in place. This means they stay in place without slippage, so they’re a comfortable solution for missing teeth. However, they are more difficult to clean than implants, and in most cases, teeth on each side of the gap will be ground to fit the bridge. Fixed bridges are typically less expensive than dental implants.
Dentures are the least expensive alternative to dental implants. They’re designed to replace a single tooth or a full set of teeth. Because they’re removable, they may shift in the mouth when the patient eats, speaks, or yawns. Dentures don’t look or feel as natural as real teeth, so many patients prefer alternative options. Dentures are also more high-maintenance as they require regular cleaning, and they will need to be replaced more frequently than implants or bridges.
To learn more about dental implants or teeth replacement options to rehabilitate your teeth, call Guri S. Dhaliwal DMD at (925) 244-9770 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.