A dental cleaning is a simple and non-invasive dental procedure in which plaque and tartar accumulation is scaled away and the teeth and gum line are thoroughly cleaned and polished. There are several notable benefits of this preventive dental procedure that patients should understand. The benefits of dental cleaning include the ability to brighten and clean…
Missing Teeth Replacement – Implants or a Dental Bridge?
Implants can save a person from simply resigning themselves to gaps in their teeth. Dental bridgework and implants replace missing teeth, giving the patient back a beautiful smile. Older people in particular need bridgework as their lives progress. Implants are literally the foundation of bridgework and dental prosthesis.
What can be done about missing teeth?
Many people lose one or more teeth throughout their lives. In some cases, a bridge can anchor a false tooth to the neighboring natural teeth. Alternatively, an implant in the gum provides an anchor for the false tooth. Where several teeth are missing, both options combine in bridgework secured by implants.
Implants are anchors set into the gum and jaw. They form the foundation for a variety of tooth prosthetics. For example, a single missing tooth can be replaced with an implant and a false tooth. Alternatively, bridgework and even full sets of dentures can be anchored by implants.
The main part of the implant is a titanium screw, which anchors into the jaw. Humans naturally have two sets of teeth (the infant “milk” teeth and the later adult teeth). There are thus already cavities in the jaw for the implant to anchor in. The choice between implants or bridgework is often a combination of both.
Titanium is extremely strong and does not rust over time. It is a great material for long-term prosthetics in the human body. The lower part of the implant may be a single false tooth, a bridge or a full dental set. Getting a single implant early may save the need for more extensive bridgework later on.
As the name implies, a dental bridge fills a gap of several missing teeth. Bridgework may be anchored to the adjoining natural teeth or by implants in the jaw. Modern bridgework and dentures are almost impossible to tell from real teeth. They usually blend seamlessly with the natural teeth, creating a bright, straight smile.
Common materials used to sculpt replacement teeth include:
- Acrylic resin
The acrylic resin was the first material used to restore damaged and missing teeth. It is, however, prone to abrasion and does not stand up well against wear and tear. Porcelain, layered over a metal base, replaced acrylic as the most popular material for replacement teeth. Even with later innovations, porcelain is considered the standard for durability and aesthetics.
Ceramic teeth have great aesthetic results in the short term. They are, however, prone to damage over time and can be problematic to replace. Porcelain comparatively tends to last a decade before noticeable wear and tear. Zirconia is a crystalline substance with a variety of niche uses besides dentistry. It is an ingredient in some super-hard ceramics and is also used to make artificial diamonds. It generally has greater longevity even than porcelain.
Getting missing teeth replaced
Missing teeth can be replaced. Implants and bridgework can fix a gap in your smile. Contact your local dentist to discuss implants and dental bridges. Schedule an appointment today to get a brighter, straighter smile.
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