Tooth loss can be a significant problem for many people. It can cause difficulties with chewing, speaking, and even self-esteem. Fortunately, there are several options for restoring missing teeth, including dental bridges, dentures, and other restorative treatments.
Is tooth loss making your life more difficult? The team at Lakewood Dental Group can help. With years of experience and top-of-the-line treatments, our dentists in Dallas, TX, can help strengthen and restore your smile. Get the restorative care you deserve today by calling (214) 827-1885 now.
Common restorative treatments for tooth loss include dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants. Each of these options has its own benefits and drawbacks, and the right choice depends on a variety of factors. In this blog post, we discuss how to choose the right restorative treatment for tooth loss.
Dental bridges are a common solution for replacing one or more missing teeth, typically in a row. A bridge consists of one or more prosthetic teeth (called pontics). A dentist anchors these pontics to adjacent natural teeth with the help of dental crowns.
Dental professionals can craft bridges from a variety of materials, including:
- Metal alloys
One advantage of dental bridges is that they are stationary. This means that they are fixed in place and do not need to be removed for cleaning or maintenance.
Additionally, because bridges are anchored to natural teeth, they are more stable than dentures. This is beneficial, as loose dentures can cause mouth irritation and lasting damage.
As with any medical procedure, there are some drawbacks to dental bridges. For one, the process of placing a bridge typically requires some alteration of the adjacent natural teeth. Unfortunately, altering the structure of natural teeth tends to weaken them over time.
Furthermore, bridges do not address the issue of bone loss that can occur in the jaw after tooth loss. So, while dental bridges can replace missing teeth, they may not be ideal for supporting healthy jaws.
Dentures are another common solution for tooth loss. They consist of a removable plate that a dental professional fits with one or more prosthetic teeth. Dentures come in both full and partial models, which allows patients to address total or sporadic tooth loss.
Dentists can make dentures from a variety of materials, including:
- Acrylic resin
One advantage of dentures is that they are often less expensive than dental bridges or other restorative treatments. In fact, depending on the materials used, many patients can get a new set of full dentures for as little as $1,000 (with insurance).
Additionally, because they are removable, patients can easily remove and clean their dentures. This is beneficial, as patients cannot clean fixed prosthetics as easily as removable prosthetics.
There aren’t many drawbacks to dentures, but there are some. For example, they can be uncomfortable, and they may require an adjustment period while the wearer gets used to them.
Additionally, because they are removable, dentures can sometimes slip or move around in the mouth. For patients, this can be embarrassing or uncomfortable. But, it can also be harmful, as loose dentures can cause irritation that may lead to infection.
In addition to dental bridges and dentures, there are several other restorative treatments that patients can use to address tooth loss, such as dental implants. This treatment requires a skilled dentist to surgically implant one or more titanium posts into the jawbone.
The titanium posts fuse with the bone tissue in the jaw over the course of three to six months (or longer). Once completely healed, the implants can fully support partial or complete dental restorations, such as:
- Dental crowns
- Dental bridges
One advantage of dental implants is that they are the most durable and long-lasting option for tooth replacement. This is because of the osseointegration that occurs between the implant and the jawbone. Thanks to this unique fusion, dental implants can last for decades.
Dental implants also address the issue of bone loss that can occur in the jaw after tooth loss. This is extremely beneficial, as other restorative treatments cannot stimulate healthy bone growth as tooth implants do.
Although many dental professionals regard dental implants as the gold standard of tooth replacement, there are a few drawbacks. Perhaps the biggest drawback is their cost. Dental implants are a bit pricey, as they cost roughly $2,500 per treated tooth.
Additionally, the implant process is lengthy. The entire process can take at least six months, requiring multiple appointments and strategic planning.
How to Choose
When choosing between dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants for tooth loss, there are several factors to consider. The most important factors to consider typically include:
- The number of missing teeth: Patients with total tooth loss may benefit most from traditional or implant-supported dentures. Alternatively, patients with sporadic tooth loss may benefit more from dental bridges or partial dentures.
- The location of missing teeth: Dental bridges are ideal for one or more consecutively missing teeth. However, missing teeth on opposite sides of the same jaw may require partial dentures.
- The health and strength of surrounding teeth: If neighboring teeth are not healthy or strong enough to support dental bridges, then other tooth-replacement options may be better.
- The health of the gums and jawbone: Patients with significant gum and jawbone recession may benefit the most from dental implants compared to other options.
- The patient’s budget and preferences: Implant-supported restorations are more expensive than removable restorations. However, the trade-off is convenience, as removable appliances require daily maintenance to keep them clean and functional.
You don’t have to make this decision alone. Our trusted restoration dentists in Dallas, TX, can help you explore all of your options during a personalized consultation.
Dental Implants, Dentures, and Dental Bridges in Dallas, TX
Experts believe that roughly one in six older adults (aged 65 and older) are completely lacking teeth. Are you one of them? If so, let the team at Lakewood Dental Group help you reclaim your smile. Contact our Dallas dentists here, or give our friendly team a call at (214) 827-1885 to learn more!