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What Is the Process of Getting a Tooth Replacement?
There are various things to consider when exploring your missing tooth replacement options. Factors like your budget, how many missing teeth you have, and the location of the missing teeth determine which teeth replacement restoration works best for you.
Some of the different oral prosthetics that can be used to replace missing teeth include dentures, bridges, and implants. There are also several hybrid oral prosthetics like implant-supported dentures.
What to expect when exploring missing tooth replacement
Getting lost teeth replaced usually starts with a dental consultation. During the appointment, the dentist will go over the patient’s medical history, their budget, and what they want out of their replacement teeth.
The patient’s jaw and teeth are examined to determine which tooth replacement options would be ideal for them. For example, a person with three missing teeth in a row might be better off with a dental bridge instead of replacing all three missing teeth with implants.
Some of the oral prosthetics that might be recommended once a patient has been evaluated by a dentist include:
1. Dental implants
Implants are metal rods or screws that are inserted into the jawbone to serve as bases for dental restorations like crowns. They are the closest thing to real teeth as far as oral prosthetics are concerned. The implant fuses with tissues around it via osseointegration, making it virtually as stable as a real tooth. Implants are usually made out of titanium, one of the strongest metals ever discovered, and are designed to last a lifetime.
An implant can be used to replace a single tooth, and it can be combined with other prosthetics to replace multiple teeth. For example, implant-supported dentures can be used to replace up to five teeth in a row. The implants are inserted at both ends of the space, and the artificial teeth of the bridge cover up the rest.
The main drawbacks of implants include taking up to six months to complete the treatment and the fact it requires oral surgery. Some people are simply not healthy enough for surgical treatments.
Dentures are the most economical missing teeth replacement option, and they can be used to replace missing teeth in as little as two weeks. Getting dentures is also the least invasive process since it does not require any surgical procedures like implants or altering healthy teeth as is the case with crowns.
Getting dentures usually takes two trips to the clinic. The first visit is used to take an impression of the patient's teeth. The impression goes to a lab where technicians make the patient’s custom dentures. Patients come back for a second appointment once the customized dentures are ready.
Dental bridges are in between implants and dentures in terms of cost. They are more stable in the mouth than dentures, but they do not provide the bone-preserving properties of implants. One of the biggest drawbacks of bridges is making alterations to the teeth closest to the space left by missing teeth. The two teeth closest to the gap are used to anchor down the artificial teeth of the bridge.
Explore missing teeth replacement options
Ready to get rid of the hole in your smile? Call or visit our The Woodlands clinic to set up an appointment.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Tooth Replacement in The Woodlands, TX.
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