Are missing teeth causing you difficulty, discomfort or embarrassment? Don’t worry – we have all the facts about tooth replacement treatments and the effectiveness of dental implants as a long-term solution for missing teeth.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants are replacement teeth made of titanium. They are composed of an artificial crown attached to a screw that is surgically implanted into the jaw for stability. Implants are an effective treatment for missing teeth because they maintain the strength of the jaw.
There are a few alternative treatment options, some more lasting than others:
Flippers are temporary, removable plastic teeth. They are attached to a retainer for easy removal. Flippers are one of the most cost efficient tooth replacement methods; however, they are the least durable alternatives to dental implants and are considered short-term solutions until a more lasting treatment can be performed.
Fixed bridges literally “bridge” gaps caused by one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge consists of a false tooth, called a pontic, and two abutment teeth, which are crowns that anchor the bridge to the teeth on either side of the gap. Abutment teeth can be secured to both natural teeth and dental implants; however, anchoring them to natural teeth can cause damage.
Dentures are a common treatment for individuals missing all their teeth in one or both of their jaws. They are made of a removable frame that holds an entire set of teeth.
Removable partial dentures are removable frames that hold a partial set of teeth rather than a full set of teeth. This option is often considered for individuals who are missing some but not all of their teeth in one or both jaws.
WHY CHOOSE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Implants are the longest lasting treatment for missing teeth. With proper care, dental implants can last up to ten years or longer. Because they are surgically anchored into the jawbone, they function like natural teeth.