Although the rate of tooth loss has significantly declined in the U.S. over the last several decades due to new advancements in dentistry, many Americans still live with missing teeth. In fact, the American College of Prosthodontists estimates that 120 million adults in the country are missing at least one tooth. With every tooth in your mouth playing a valuable role in your oral health and functions, it is vital to replace them. In the past, a traditional bridge and crowns were used. While they are effective, many are now turning to dental implants.
Complications from Tooth Loss
When even one tooth is missing, your oral health and quality of life will start to decline. Not only will you feel insecure about your incomplete smile, but you may also have to limit your diet because certain foods become too difficult to chew. There are also complications that are occurring beneath the surface that you will not see immediately.
When a tooth is lost, your underlying jawbone is no longer stimulated. As a result, it begins to deteriorate, causing your remaining natural teeth to shift toward the open space. Over time, this will lead to alignment issues that increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Eventually, more teeth will begin to fall out.
To fill the empty spaces, many choose a dental bridge and crowns, but is it the best option?
Bridge vs. Dental Implants
A bridge has held a commonplace in replacing missing teeth because it is affordable and effective. Custom-made teeth are created to bridge the gap. Dental crowns are then placed on your adjacent teeth to hold the oral appliance in place.
This allows you to regain a complete functional smile; however, they will never feel like your natural teeth. Not to mention, the crowned teeth will suffer from damage over the years due to supporting the bridge. It will also not stop loss of bone density in your jaw, and you will need to have the bridge replaced every few years.
Now, you can resolve the disadvantages of a traditional bridge with dental implants. Prosthetic teeth are created to fill the empty space. Instead of using crowns to hold it in place, one or two dental implants are surgically placed into your jawbone.
The posts will act as new tooth roots to stimulate bone growth. This not only preserves your jawbone’s density but also allows it to fuse to the posts. This provides you with added security and stability that are not possible with conventional options. As a result, they will closely look and feel natural while also offering the potential to last for a lifetime.
Which is Right for Me?
To determine the best option to complete your smile, your dentist will perform a comprehensive consultation.
About Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury strives to provide his patients with the latest innovations in dentistry to promote optimal oral health. He offers the most preferred tooth replacement options, including dental implants. If you are ready to regain a complete smile, he has the solutions you need. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.