Replacing Teeth – Weighing Your Choices

Posted on Dec 29, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

While today’s dentistry offers a number of excellent methods for replacing teeth, there are advantages and disadvantages to each option. It is my goal to help patients understand why we recommend Dental Implants so they can determine what is best for their needs.

Missing teeth can be replaced with crown-&-bridge combinations, partial or full dentures, or dental implants. Crown-&-bridge is only possible when natural teeth border both sides of the area of missing teeth since crowned, natural teeth are the bridge’s support.

A partial denture does not require teeth on each side for support. However, it does need teeth on one side to provide support for clasps or framework that attach to adjacent, natural teeth.

A full denture replaces a teeth for those who have lost all of their upper and/or lower teeth. These teeth are held by a base that mimics gums, which is contoured to the shape and size of your ridge. The ridge, which is actually the jaw bone covered by gum tissue, is the raised arch that once supported natural tooth roots.

In these options, the absence of natural tooth roots leaves the gum ridge without the stimulation that once kept it healthy. Thus, the bone will eventually begin to shrink in height and mass.

The pressure of wearing dentures or partials accelerates the pace of bone loss. For those who sleep in their denture or partials, the 24/7 pressure speeds up the rate of bone loss even more.

As the bone declines, the fit of the denture or partial changes. Slips become common when eating, often rubbing sore spots on gum tissues. Although a crown-&-bridge will not slip, bone loss will be apparent when an open space develops below the bridge.

Because Dental Implants are placed in the jaw bone, they recreate the stimulation of tooth roots. This halts bone loss and preserves the stability of your bite as well as a healthy facial structure.

Dental Implants are also designed to last your lifetime. With proper care, they will never need removal or replacement. They do not need the support of adjacent teeth and actually help preserve the integrity of other teeth.

The downside? The cost is higher than other tooth replacement options. However, over time, they are a far better investment. With the upfront cost being the ONLY problem associated with Dental Implants, the fact that it is a ‘one and done’ expense (with a lifetime of benefits) really makes them a better choice compared to other tooth replacement options.

If you are missing natural teeth and would like to discuss replacement with Dental Implants, call 828-274-9440 to schedule a consultation. During this time, we’ll discuss how Dental Implants may be the perfect choice!

Recent Posts