When it comes to replacing a tooth, you have a lot of options. Not only can you choose between implants, dentures, and bridges, but there is a wide variety within each of those categories as well. To help you get a better idea of which direction you want to go, here is an overview of the your choices for replacing missing teeth:
Implants, Dentures, and Braces
To start with, you want to decide which option is the best for your needs.
Implants are going to be your most expensive option by far, with a single implant often costing more than a full set of dentures. This is offset by the fact that implants will also last the longest, are the most durable, and will feel quite natural.
Dentures are usually cheaper than the other two, but there are high-end dentures that use expensive materials. Dentures can often be removed whenever you want, which can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, if you get uncomfortable, then it will be easy to take them out for a brief respite. On the other, constantly taking them out and putting them back in will make you acutely aware of your existence and will prevent your mouth from feeling like its naturally full of teeth.
Bridges often cost something in between the other two, but they have stricter requirements as well. To get a dental bridge, you need to have stable, healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth to act as anchors. If something happens to compromise the stability of either of the anchors, then the bridge could be damaged as well.
There are two main types of implants: endosteal and periosteal.
Endosteal implants are attached directly to the jawbone and thus require fairly intensive surgery. However, they are exceptionally stable as a result.
Periosteal implants are installed in the gum tissue above the jawbone, which means that your jawbone won't be touched. This can be critical in cases where your jawbone is very thing or structurally compromised for some other reason.
Depending on your needs, you might get either a partial or full set of dentures. As the names suggest, partial dentures are used in cases where you are only missing some of your teeth on either your upper or lower jaw, whereas full sets are used when you are missing all of the teeth on either your upper or lower jaw.
Traditional bridges work by installing crowns on either side of the missing tooth. Those crowns are then used as a foundation for the replacement tooth.
Cantilever bridges operate by only attaching to one side of the missing tooth, although they can potentially be connected to multiple consecutive crowns on that side.
Finally, you have Maryland bridges, which are attached to the surrounding teeth via a bonding process.
For more information, contact Quality Dental Care or a similar location.