Dentists have replaced teeth for many decades. Dentures and dental bridges have been around a long time, and they continue to be viable options for replacing missing teeth. Whether you need a single tooth replacement, an entire bridge, or just a few new teeth, these solutions continue to be popular choices.
Dental implants are a more recent innovation that continues to grow in popularity. These permanently fixed artificial teeth look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. While they may cost more, they can last significantly longer than many dentures or bridges.
Dr. Nataly Vilderman is often asked about the best option for replacing teeth. Our practice in San Francisco, California, offers full and partial dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. Are dentures better than implants or are dental implants the way to go? The answer is different for everyone.
We perform a comprehensive dental evaluation when you need teeth replaced and recommend the best options to fit your needs, health, and lifestyle. Before your consultation, you should learn more about each option for teeth replacement.
Dentures are removable prosthetics for your mouth. They can be created to replace a few missing teeth (partial dentures) or a complete arch of teeth (full dentures). Both use artificial teeth made from porcelain or tooth-colored resin.
Partial dentures hold the teeth on a metal or plastic base that fits onto your adjacent teeth to hold the appliance in place. Full dentures are similar, except that the base attaches to your gums through suction or with dental paste.
Both types of dentures must be removed each night for cleaning and to allow you to completely clean your mouth and any remaining teeth. With proper care, many sets of dentures can last for a decade or more before needing replacement.
Dental implants are an option for replacing teeth with permanently affixed titanium screws that we surgically implant into your jawbone. The actual replacement tooth is affixed to this screw after it fully heals and joins to the bone.
Dental implants take several months to complete due to the time it takes for the titanium post to bind fully with your jawbone, a process called osseointegration.
Dental implants are the closest thing you can have to actual teeth. They look, feel, and function just like real teeth. They are cleaned just like regular teeth — through regular brushing and flossing — and with regular dental checkups.
Both options for replacing missing teeth are excellent choices. We make recommendations that best fit your needs and budget after a dental evaluation. Some factors should be understood about both options.
Implants need healthy jawbone for the implant screw to integrate properly. If you have a certain level of bone loss, you may not be a candidate for dental implants.
Sometimes, a bone graft can be used to improve your jawbone and prepare you for dental implants. This option also requires healthy gum tissue to grow around the implant for proper support and aesthetics.
Dentures aren’t considered a permanent option like dental implants, but they are more affordable and can be used by a wide variety of people with different dental issues. Modern dentures have advanced quite a bit over older styles, and now look and feel like real teeth.
Whatever your reason for needing to replace missing teeth, it’s important that you follow through to replace your smile and personal confidence. We can help you make the best choice for your needs and start your journey toward better oral health. Call or request an appointment online today to explore your teeth replacement options.