Missing teeth can cause problems for your dental health over time, such as bite problems and misalignment of health teeth. These issues can make eating, smiling, and speaking difficult. With many tooth replacement options available, it can be difficult to figure out which one is best. MOSA Oral Maxillofacial & Dental Implant Surgery specializes in dental implant-based tooth replacement solutions.
Every patient is different, and the solution that is right for you will depend on your health history, the number of teeth you need to replace, the amount of bone left in your jaw, and other factors. Before selecting your restoration method, it is important to consider all of your options to make an informed decision. Our staff wants to help you find a solution for your missing or failing teeth, which is why we’ve provided some information about the most popular tooth restoration options available.
Dental implants are becoming one of the most popular restoration options available because they are functional, healthy, and natural looking.
- Restore the appearance of your smile
- Function just like natural teeth
- Permanent replacement option for one tooth or multiple teeth (can last a lifetime with proper care)
- Stimulate jaw and prevent bone loss caused by missing teeth
- Eliminate discomfort caused by removable prostheses that slip
Dental implants consist of three separate parts: the post, the abutment, and the crown (or bridge, depending on the number of teeth which require restoration). The implant post will replace your tooth’s root by integrating with the bone beneath the gums, which creates a stable foundation to connect the abutment, which holds up the new crown. Each crown is custom designed to look like a natural tooth. Dental implants can also support multi-tooth bridges instead of single crowns, making them a great option for patients that need to restore multiple missing teeth.
The entire treatment process is a joint effort between the patient, the oral surgeon, and the restorative dentist. Dental implants are usually recommended for patients who are healthy enough to undergo minor dental procedures. Once the process is complete, most patients find that their implants function just like natural teeth do.
Dental Implant-Supported Dentures/Full-Arch Restoration
Implant-supported dentures are the most efficient and cost-effective way to replace a full arch of teeth with permanent, non-removable prostheses.
- Permanent replacement option for a full upper or lower arch of teeth
- Use two to four dental implants to secure an entire fixed denture
- Allow patients to eat the foods they enjoy
- Provide a new smile in as little as one procedure, though soft foods will be required during the recovery phase
- Prevent bone loss around the jaw
Dental implant-supported dentures are a fantastic option for patients who want an alternative to traditional dentures. Instead of removing teeth at night, dental implants will hold them in place permanently. There is no risk of the fixed denture slipping or falling out while eating, which allows for more natural and comfortable daily use.
The oral surgeon will work together with a restorative dentist to create and place the new replacement teeth. We typically recommend implant-supported dentures to patients who are healthy enough to undergo minor dental procedures.
Tooth-supported bridges have been used for years to restore the space left by missing teeth.
- Require support from neighboring healthy teeth
- Can last five to fifteen years before being replaced
- Restore appearance of a missing tooth
- Add chewing function to the mouth
Bridges work by literally bridging the gap created by a missing tooth or missing teeth. The bridge itself is made up of prosthetic teeth held in place by two crowns that are fixed to the surrounding teeth. A dentist may have to grind down or reshape the neighboring teeth so that the bridge fits properly. For patients who are looking for a semi-permanent option that does not require surgery, tooth-supported bridges may be the right choice.
Partial and full dentures have been used to replace teeth for hundreds of years, and they are still a very popular option today. Improvements in denture design have improved the fit and appearance of traditional dentures.
- Removable tooth replacement option
- Restore appearance of smile
- Add some chewing function
- Can last five to seven years (may need replacement if bone loss occurs)
Patients who are unable to receive permanent tooth replacements or prefer having a removable option may wish to consider traditional dentures. The quality of dentures has improved greatly over the last few years, although they do not provide protection against bone loss. As the mouth changes shape over time, patients may need to have dentures refitted or remade to ensure a secure fit. If there is a problem with the fit of the denture, we may recommend pre-prosthetic surgery which alters the shape of the mouth for the best possible fit. Oral surgeons typically perform pre-prosthetic surgeries, but dentists and prosthodontists usually oversee regular denture fittings.
Tooth Restoration Options in Monterey, CA, and Salinas, CA
The best way to determine which tooth replacement option is best for you is to have a consultation with an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon, like Drs. Lewis and Lloyd. MOSA Oral Maxillofacial & Dental Implant Surgery provides a variety of dental implant-supported tooth restoration options. If you want to learn more about dental implants, implant-supported dentures, immediate implants, and other tooth replacement methods, contact one of our offices in Monterey or Salinas for more information.