Do you still feel at a loss by what to do about your incomplete smile? Has the loss of a tooth or teeth left you embarrassed, angry, or downright confused? If so, you probably know that you need to speak with a dentist. Still, understanding some of your prosthetic options for smile completion before you go see him or her can help ease your concerns, and allow you to enter your dental appointment with more knowledge about which options to discuss.
Dentures have long been one of the most popular forms of prosthetic dentistry because they are fast and affordable. If you have lost a single tooth, several, or all of your teeth, there are denture options that can help. Unsupported dentures are not as secure as other prosthetic options, though, so if you want superior confidence while chewing and speaking, you may want to consider the alternatives, like dental bridges and dental implants.
Dental bridges are more secure than unsupported dentures because they use dental crowns to hold a replacement tooth or teeth in place. The crowns are affixed to the teeth closest to the gap, helping provide nearly seamless smile completion, with the added benefit of being more secure than dentures, alone. Bridges and implants can be similar in cost, over time, but bridges are often more affordable upfront.
Dental implants are the most permanent form of smile completion because they rely on titanium posts, which are surgically inserted into the jawline. These posts create a permanent base for a replacement tooth, one that is secured by soft tissue, which grows right around the post itself. Implants are also the only form of prosthesis that helps replace a natural tooth root. This is important because it helps supply the jaw with nutrients, the way a healthy tooth root does. Without this benefit, the jaw can begin to shrink over time, particularly if several teeth have been lost.
If you’re unsure which dental prosthesis is right for you, it is best to schedule a consultation with your restorative dentist. How many teeth you have lost, where they are located, your cosmetic concerns and your budget can all be important factors in determining what option will be the best fit for your smile.
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