When considering reconstructive dentistry, Sarasota Smile Design offers many different options depending on the patient’s goals and oral health. But with all of the different reconstructive solutions out there, how do you know which one is right for you? In this article, we will discuss three different forms of reconstructive dentistry, dental crowns, dental implants, and dental bridges. This will give you a better understanding of each treatment and which one you may prefer before you enter our welcoming and warm office.
- What Are Dental Crowns?
- Who Are They Best For?
A crown is cemented to custom fit for you, over an existing tooth or dental implant. This is usually made of a durable and natural looking material, making it indistinguishable from your other teeth. Crowns offer both cosmetic and health benefits. They can be used to add strength to damaged or weak teeth and help to prevent them from breaking. Discomfort or pain from a damaged tooth can be alleviated from the placement of a crown. They can also be used to cover a discolored or misshaped tooth. Crowns can be used over dental implants and attached to bridges, but more on that later.
Dental crowns work best for patients with healthy gums, as these are essential to support the crown. Patients must also have a large enough healthy portion of the tooth in order to “save” it with a crown. There are many situations for which a dental crown can benefit your oral health and the appearance of your smile.
Your dentist may recommend a crown if your teeth are significantly discolored and they do not believe that a whitening treatment would make a difference. If you have a chipped, cracked, or damaged tooth or teeth, your dentist may recommend a dental crown as well. A weak tooth that requires extra support may also benefit from this treatment. If you have recently had a procedure such as a filling or root canal and need to protect your tooth from further damage, your dentists may recommend a dental crown as well.
- What is A Dental Implant?
- Who is A Good Candidate for A Dental Implant?
Having a dental implant is one of the best methods to replace missing teeth and is often considered the gold standard in replacing missing teeth. It essentially creates an artificial root for your artificial tooth. This root is made of titanium posts or frames that are surgically placed beneath your gums into the jawbone. Once the artificial “root” is placed it begins to heal and fuse to your jawbone. This creates a strong and sturdy support for the artificial teeth. Your dentist can then mount replacement teeth onto the dental implant. These implants can be used to replace a set of full dentures to a single tooth, depending on your goal.
Many patients become instant fans of dental implants because of how natural it makes artificial teeth feel, including crowns. It also makes a huge difference for denture wearers as it stops them from shifting while patients are talking and eating. Unlike bridges, adjacent teeth do not need to be grinded down or prepared in any way to hold the replacement tooth/teeth in place.
It is necessary for patients considering having a dental implant to ensure that they have enough good quality bone in their jaw to support the implant. This is usually not a problem, even for older patients. It is possible to have bone grafts to replace lost or missing bone.
Patients should have good overall health with no immune system problems. An impaired immune system may affect the healing process and raise the risk of implant failure.
Good candidates for dental implants will also have healthy gum tissue.
If you are looking to replace a tooth, or many teeth and want them to have a natural look and feel, you may want to consider having a dental implant. If you have had a hard time in the past with dental bridges or dentures due to sore spots or gagging, a dental implant may be your best option.
- What is a Dental Bridge?
- Who is a Dental Bridge Right For?
Dental bridges are an affordable option for replacing missing teeth. Some patients prefer this method because they consider it “lower risk”. A dental bridge “bridges” the gap that is made when a tooth is lost. It is constructed of 1 or 2 artificial teeth that are held in place by dental crowns or implants. They provide aesthetic and practical benefits to restore the function and beauty of your smile.
When using crowns, the crowns are secured on each side of the gap created by the missing tooth. They are used to anchor the artificial tooth that is placed in the space between. Bridges that are attached with implants are the strongest method, as they are attached in the jawbone. This is also the more expensive method.
Dental bridges are a great option for patients looking to replace 1-3 consecutive teeth. If you are looking to replace more teeth you may want to consider partial dentures. The teeth surrounding the tooth or teeth must be strong, healthy, and free of decay for a successful bridge. If a patient has gum disease or other oral health conditions, these must be treated before the bridge is placed.
Which Is Right for You?
Although this article has given you lots of information on each procedure, the only way to really know which one is right for you and your oral health is to consult an experienced and qualified dentist. At Sarasota Smile Design Dr. Jenifer C. Back will use her extensive experience, knowledge, and experience to talk with you about your oral health concerns and goals. She will guide you toward the right reconstructive dentistry procedures for you and any other dental questions or concerns that you may have. Give our office a call today, to schedule an appointment.