Patients who want to replace broken or missing teeth should consider two important things when weighing their options- cosmetics and functionality. How do you want your smile to look and feel and what type of function do you need to have for the teeth you are replacing?
A dental bridge is a type of restoration that can replace one or more missing teeth. It uses the adjacent healthy teeth on either side to anchor the prosthesis. These can enhance the aesthetics of your smile by filling in the gaps left by missing teeth; however, they do not offer the durability and longevity of some other options.
Similar to dental bridges, a dental implant will replace one missing tooth at a time. Because dental implant treatment is a more customized approach, patients often experience more natural looking results. Dental implants are integrated directly with your natural bone and often allow patients greater bite force and chewing functionality. Due to the durability of the materials, dental implants also tend to be a more long-term solution.
Patients who need to replace a full arch of missing teeth often have dentures made, which consist of artificial teeth that can be affixed in the mouth with an adhesive paste or special “snap on” fixtures in the mouth. This is often the most cost-effective way to restore your smile and chewing ability if you need to replace a lot of teeth. Although, since most dentures are removable in some way, there are generally some restrictions to what you can eat and there can be some challenges with fit.
Patients also have to be aware that over time, wearing only dentures does allow the jaw and facial bones to atrophy, since there are no rooted teeth to maintain the structure and stability of the jaw.
All-on-4® Fixed Full Arch Restorations
This option combines dental implant treatment and denture restoration to replace missing teeth for a full arch. The All-on-4® approach uses approximately 4-6 implants that affix to a screw retained denture that is non-removable without the help of a dental professional. Patients often experience the highest level of natural tooth ability with this option and are less susceptible to experiencing “facial collapse” as with conventional dentures.
Schedule A Consultation
Talk to your general dentist about what options might be best suited to your needs. If a surgical option is recommended, you may need to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon who specializes in dental implant treatment.
Dr. Brian R. Cherry and his team at Cherry Orchard Oral & Implant Surgery offer a number of surgical options to assist in restoring the beauty and function of your smile. Explore our website to find out more about these treatments and how they may benefit you.