A dental bridge is a device used to fill the space where a tooth has fallen out or been removed. A typical dental bridge consists of a pontic (a filler tooth) that is attached to two surrounding crowns (abutments). Once complete, this bridge structure is bonded or cemented into the mouth. Without the use of a bridge, spaces in the mouth from missing teeth can cause multiple teeth to shift, lead to malocclusion (bad bite) and/or jaw problems, and may spur periodontal (gum) disease. Dental bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option if you have good general oral health and have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.
Dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling you may forget you ever lost a tooth. You know that your confidence about your teeth affects how you feel about yourself, both personally and professionally. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don’t feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence there is good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under proper conditions implants can last a lifetime. Make sure to ask us about any of your dental implant questions.
Full & Partial Dentures
Even though complete or partial dentures are not the ideal treatment to replace missing teeth (Dental implant supported restorations are), they can provide many people with a very acceptable restoration that will last and function for many years.
Complete dentures are used when all the teeth have been lost in either your upper or lower arch. They allow you to smile, speak and masticate (a big word that means “chew”) your food so you maintain proper nutrition. While not the ideal restoration these days, they are necessary and will allow you to function far better than if you didn’t replace your missing teeth and had to mash up all your food.
One version of a complete denture is called an IMMEDIATE DENTURE. An immediate denture is a complete denture that is placed at the same time as your last remaining tooth is removed. It allows you to instantly have a full set of teeth and walk out of the office wearing your new denture.
Another version of a complete denture is called an OVERDENTURE. An overdenture is a complete denture that is partially supported by some remaining roots or implants. These roots or implants usually have some type of attachment that allows an insert placed in the denture to snap the overdenture in place. Overdentures are a very effective form of complete denture therapy and far more desirable than a normal complete denture.
A PARTIAL DENTURE is a tooth replacement appliance that replaces one or more missing teeth. It is held on by ‘clipping’ on to some of your existing natural teeth or crowns. They are two types of partial dentures- conventional and precision.
A CONVENTIONAL PARTIAL DENTURE is a tooth replacement appliance that stays in place by ‘hooking’ or ‘clipping’ on to some of your existing natural teeth or crowns. You can generally identify a conventional partial denture by a small metal clasp around one or more teeth.
A PRECISION PARTIAL DENTURE is a tooth replacement appliance that stays in place by attaching to one or more permanent crowns. Generally, precision partial dentures show no metal when you smile and attach to crowns using a number of different precision devices that are very long lasting.