Tooth Replacement: Implants and Bridges
A missing tooth is the most obvious dental malformity and often presents a technical challenge to a dentist. Missing teeth can also undermine a person’s quality of life by making it difficult to chew and speak. In addition, one or more missing teeth can greatly compromise one’s self confidence and cause the appearance of premature aging. Premature loss of bone in the jaw and the abnormal shifting of the other teeth resulting in bite problems are also potential side effects of tooth loss.
Dental Implants and bridges are two ways to replace teeth and restore function and beauty to a smile. Dr. Whitten works closely with area Periodontists, Oral Surgeons and our in-office lab ceramist.
Dental implants are often used to replace missing teeth, so much so that they are becoming the standard of care in dentistry. Acting as a substitute for the root of the tooth, implants are placed in the jaw bone and bond with the bone to form a stable foundation for permanent replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like a natural teeth. The dental implant actually helps preserve the bone by providing the stimulation that was previously provided by the root of a natural tooth.
Our office does not directly place dental implants, rather we work closely with Periodontists and Oral surgeons who place the dental implant and prepare it for us to place the crown. An implant crown is similar to a regular crown except that it attaches to a dental implant rather than a tooth and is designed to look and function like a natural tooth.
There are many advantages of dental implants including not having to treat adjacent teeth or hassle with removing partial dentures. In fact, implants can actually be used to anchor dentures to make them easier to wear and more stable.
A bridge is used in dentistry to replace a missing tooth by bridging the gap between one or more missing teeth. A bridge consists of two or more crowns that are known as abutment teeth and anchor a false tooth where the missing tooth space is. Alternatives to a bridge include implants or partial dentures.