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Southern Smiles Dental values the importance of replacing missing teeth. We also value giving our patients options when it comes to tooth replacement. Today we’re going to take a closer look at the various tooth replacement options out there, and the pros and cons of each.

If you have lost teeth your primary replacement options include dental implants, bridges or dentures. Your dentist will discuss the options with you and make recommendations based on your particular case and budget.

Using Dentures To Replace Missing Teeth

Dentures are removable frames containing false teeth. They can be full or partial, depending on the number of teeth you need to replace.

If cost is your biggest concern, then dentures usually present the lowest-cost manner in which to replace missing teeth. Dentures can also be removed which makes them more convenient for cleaning.

But that aspect could also be considered negative because it speaks to the impermanence of dentures as a solution.

As far as the cons of tooth replacement options are concerned, dentures make a clicking sound when you eat and speak, and can make people around you notice them. Also, because the dentures sit above the gum, the bone can deteriorate over time and change your bite. Dentures do need to be replaced quite regularly, as they tend to lose their shape over time and wearing.

Using Bridge Work To Fill The Gap

 Bridges are constructed over the gaps left by missing teeth. The bridge is created by at least two crowns (one on each side of the empty space) with a false tooth between them. They can be divided into two groups: tooth supported bridges that are fixed and tooth supported bridges that are bonded by resin to the supporting teeth.

 On the positive side, bridges can be crafted to look very much like your natural teeth and today’s design feel and look a lot like natural teeth. They restore balance to your bite and restore function to your teeth, enabling you to chew and speak properly.

Bridges are also quite long lasting and may last up to 10 years before needing to be replaced.

When it comes to the disadvantages, tooth supported bridges require that the surrounding teeth be worn down in order to accommodate the new bridge. This weakens and compromises them, making them more susceptible to tooth decay.

After getting a bridge you may find you need to cut your food into smaller pieces while you adjust. Some patients report needing to relearn how to pronounce certain words when wearing bridges.

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Dental Implants

As far as tooth replacement options go dental implants are a permanent solution to lost or missing teeth. A dental implant is a crown that is placed on a screw that is anchored into your jaw forever. When well planned and performed by skilled professionals, tooth implants have a very high success rate.

In order to be eligible for the procedure, you do need to have enough jaw bone to support the implant.  If you do not have enough jaw to support the tooth and the forces exerted when biting or chewing, you may need a bone graft.

On the cons, not everyone is a candidate for implants and may not be able to go ahead with treatment if gum disease is present, or if you suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes. Cost is also considered one of the barriers for implants but keep in mind that the benefits can extend for many decades.

There is no reason to endure missing teeth any longer. Contact our friendly team at Southern Smiles Dental to speak to a professional about tooth replacement options today.

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