When the condition of the teeth has deteriorated so far that they can no longer be repaired, removal is the only option. Dentures are a "replacement" option for missing teeth. There are two variations of dentures: partial dentures and full dentures. The difference between the two lies in how many natural teeth remain.
A complete denture is a removable prosthesis of white plastic teeth in a pink gum-colored plastic base; the denture rests on the remaining gum ridge once all of the teeth in the arch have been removed.
It is important to note that life with an upper and/or lower denture is a major lifestyle change when compared to natural teeth. Dentures impact the type of food you are able to eat, your self-confidence in social situations and even your self-esteem.
Reasons for a Full Denture
An upper full denture will almost always feel better than a lower full denture. In order to dramatically improve the fit of a lower full denture, we frequently suggest using dental implants as a retentive mechanism. Implants placed in the lower jaw can help anchor the denture and significantly improve comfort. Sometimes, the implants can even be placed in the jaw after a denture has been in use for several years.
Dental bridges are fixed appliances that will work to restore the structure and function of your teeth after tooth loss. These appliances are non-removable, so they will become a permanent part of your smile. There are many different types of bridges, and we can help you to choose the option that is right for your unique dental needs.
A traditional bridge is the most common type of bridge that is used to improve tooth loss, and it is made of metal and porcelain. The bridge contains two porcelain crowns fused to metal that will slip over two anchoring teeth found on either side of the artificial teeth. The bridge then fills the gap that was created due to tooth loss.
Reasons for Choosing a Fixed Bridge
There are numerous reasons that you might choose a fixed bridge to correct your tooth loss:
Getting Your Fixed Bridge
The process of getting your bridge will generally require at least two appointments with your dentist. Your teeth will be numbed to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure, and the anchoring teeth will then be prepared by having a thin portion of the enamel removed in order to make room for a crown. Molds will be made of your teeth to be sent into a dental lab, and the bridge is fabricated at this facility. You may also be able to wear a temporary bridge until your follow-up appointment, which will usually be scheduled about two weeks out.
At your next visit, we'll remove your temporary bridge, and the new bridge will be checked for proper fit. Once it is determined that the appliance is ready, it will be bonded or cemented into place.
Caring for Your Dental Bridge
Bridges are created to be highly durable, and with proper care, they can last for several years. However, even normal wear can require them to need replacement, so be sure to follow-up with your dentist regularly to ensure that your appliance is still in good shape. You should also be sure to brush and floss properly in order to keep your remaining teeth healthy and avoid future tooth loss.