Missing teeth can cause a number of problems. When you have gaps in your smile, you will feel uncomfortable about your appearance, and lost teeth can give the area around your mouth a sunken appearance, making you look older than your true age. If you have empty spaces on your gums, plaque and bacteria have extra places to accumulate which can lead to gum disease and lost teeth. Your remaining teeth have room to move and which can cause them to strike each other at improper angles. That can create damage to your tooth enamel and to the teeth themselves. Lastly, with a full set of teeth, you can speak more clearly and bite and chew your food properly.
Dental implants are prosthetic teeth that are attached to titanium posts that are set directly into your jawbone. They are sturdy and can be cared for just as you do your natural teeth. However, surgery is required, and your gums and jawbone must be healthy enough to support the implants. There are also medical conditions and certain medications that might mean you are not a good candidate for implants and you should talk with your dentist before deciding on using them.
Dentures are in many instances, relatively inexpensive, and outside of potential extractions, no surgery is required for them. In many cases, dentures can be made in one day. They can easily be removed for cleaning. Some people may not be comfortable with the bulky feel of dentures, or they may trigger the gag reflex in others.
A bridge is good compromise between the two. A bridge fills in the gaps in your smile, by using the teeth on each end as anchors. After drilling the teeth down to the dentin, the dentist will take an impression of the area which will be used by a dental lab to create the bridge. When it is ready, it will be be attached to the crowns with dental cement and placed in your mouth.
To find out which replacement option will work best for you, schedule an exam and a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Katie Lippas. If you would like to make an appointment at Walnut Glen Family Dental in Dallas, Texas, call 214-613-1355 today.