It is a smart person that strives to maintain a healthy smile, because looking and feeling good are important. Gaps in your mouth where teeth are missing not only decrease your ability to chew well, but they can be a source of embarrassment. We offer three options for the replacement of missing teeth: implants, bridges (fixed partial denture, or FPD), and removable partial dentures.
A dental implant functions like a natural tooth. It serves as a root, which is anchored in your bone. A single crown, a multi-tooth bridge, or a removable partial denture can be attached to your implant. An implant is a stable alternative and you never have to worry about decay. Placement of a crown on top of the implant abutment completes the process: however, not all patients are good candidates for an implant. You need healthy gums and adequate bone for long term success of the implant. An implant patient also must be committed to daily cleaning at home and regular visits to the hygienist. Advantages of an implant include its similarity to a real tooth, prevention of bone loss in the area of the missing tooth, and the drilling of adjacent teeth is unnecessary to prepare for crowns (as for a bridge).
A bridge, or fixed partial denture, replaces one or more missing teeth. It can be anchored by crowns on two or more healthy teeth or implants. A fixed bridge is permanently cemented and helps support your lips and cheeks to maintain the proper shape of your face. Advantages include that they look, feel, and function like your teeth and they do not come out.
Removable Partial Denture
Removable partial dentures go in and out of the mouth. They are worn during the waking hours to improve function and looks. They should be removed and placed in a cup of water with cleaning solution every night, then rinsed thoroughly and soaked in clean water while sleeping. Your partial denture will have a base of cast metal for strength and the replacement teeth are set in pink plastic material to give the appearance of healthy gums. Advantages: generally less expense than the above treatment options and can be repaired if damaged.
To determine which option may be best for you, please contact our office for a free quick-consult, or to schedule a comprehensive exam.