Partial Tooth Replacement
While the loss of a single tooth, or a few, is not nearly as devastating as losing all of your teeth, any type of tooth loss can be embarrassing, and can lead to other health problems. When a tooth is lost, the root is lost with it, creating problems in the underlying jawbone that can lead to other problems – including the loss of more teeth.
Why dental implants are the best tooth replacement therapy
Dental implants replace the missing tooth root as well as the missing tooth. This improves the integrity and health of the jawbone, allowing it to continue to grow normally and maintaining the shape of your face. The benefits of dental implants for tooth replacement therapy far outweigh any possible negatives, easily making the procedure the best tooth replacement therapy we have ever been able to offer. Whether you’ve lost one tooth or a few, here are the reasons to choose dental implants:
Single Tooth Dental Implant Protocol
When a single tooth is lost, the two most common treatment protocols are:
1. A traditional tooth-supported bridge
2. An implant-supported crown
When a tooth-supported bridge is used to a single missing tooth, the adjacent teeth are commonly ground down into peg shapes to create a support system for the bridge. While this process destroys natural enamel and tooth structure, it must be done in order to fit the new cemented bridge properly. Although a 3-unit tooth-supported bridge can function well for years, the supporting teeth often develop decay, periodontal bone loss or need root-canal treatment. This may lead to future problems that will be more expensive and complicated to treat. These problems do not develop with the placement of a single tooth dental implant.
Multiple Teeth Dental Implant Protocol
When multiple teeth have been lost or are failing, the most common treatment protocols may are:
1. A removable partial denture
2. A multiple tooth supported fixed bridge
3. An implant-supported bridge
A removable partial denture uses clasps that grip adjacent, healthy teeth to hold the partial in place. The clasps, which are designed to fit snuggly onto the healthy teeth, put pressure on the underlying gums and natural teeth they hook onto. This weakens the jawbone and loosens the supporting teeth, which often leads to additional tooth loss. A multiple tooth-supported fixed bridge is a common tooth replacement option, with all of the complications, compromises and risks of a single tooth bridge, but worse.
Again, because there is no root system to support the missing teeth, the integrity of the jawbone is compromised, and the melting away of the bone, known as atrophy, is actually accelerated, resulting in more rapid bone deterioration. These problems do not develop with the placement of an implant-supported bridge.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.