Dental professionals always aim to help people protect and maintain their natural teeth. However, there are some situations when this is no longer possible, and a tooth must be replaced.
There are many different replacement choices available to patients. Read on to learn about some of the tooth replacement options your prosthodontist might recommend.
What Does a Prosthodontist Do?
Prosthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the design, development, and fitting of artificial replacements for natural teeth. Through prosthodontics, a dentist seeks to restore a patient’s dental function, health, and appearance.
As experts in complex dental procedures, prosthodontists work with patients to choose the best tooth replacement options through accurate diagnosis and careful planning.
Dental implants are often considered the gold standard for replacing one or even several damaged teeth. Implants provide a permanent solution and (when well taken care of) can last a lifetime.
The process begins with the replacement of your tooth’s root with titanium screws, which are used as an anchor for replacement teeth. Once an implant has been allowed to heal for several months, a crown is placed on top.
A bridge is used to fill gaps in your smile. Traditional bridges use crowns on the adjacent teeth to support the bridge. Fixed-bonded bridges use a framework of metal or porcelain bonded to the adjacent teeth. This technique can only be used when it is placed between a patient’s natural teeth.
Bridges are much less expensive than dental implants and also have the look and feel of natural teeth.
Removable Partial Dentures
Traditional dentures tend to be bulky and can even cause bone shrinkage and muscle deterioration. Over time, dentures can become loose, making it more difficult to talk and eat.
Compared to traditional dentures, removable partial dentures are often a much simpler option for patients with only a few missing teeth. Additional teeth can also be added over time if necessary.
Implant-supported dentures are much sturdier than traditional dentures because they use dental implants for retention, instead of adhesive. This added support allows the dentures to be horseshoe-shaped, which opens the palate and reduces bulkiness.
This affordable option can provide significant improvement in a patient’s ability to chew and smile. Cleaning and maintaining this type of denture is also fairly simple.
Full-Arch Dental Implants
Sometimes referred to as an implant bridge, or all-on-four, full arch dental implants are the closest option to natural teeth. This kind of implant is fixed and less likely to loosen over time.
The replacement teeth also feel more sturdy and less bulky than dentures. Muscle tone and bone are also preserved, which helps patients to keep their confidence when eating and speaking.
Tooth Replacement with Advanced Prosthodontics
Deciding how to replace your damaged or missing teeth can be very overwhelming. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know what is best. An experienced prosthodontist can help you choose the best option for you, optimizing the look and function of your teeth.
Dr. Hersh has extensive training in all phases of reconstructive, implant, and cosmetic dentistry. If you’re having dental issues or are suffering from missing teeth, call Advanced Prosthodontics at (610) 865-4222 to see how we can help you restore your smile.