What Tooth Replacement Options Are There?
There are several procedures for tooth replacement. Every patient is different and has different oral health needs, but all missing teeth should be replaced. Not all procedures are going to be a great match for every patient. We will talk about five tooth replacement options that work for most patients with good oral health conditions. Again, there will be exceptions that you and your dental health professional can discuss tooth replacement. Dr. Bruce Vafa in Beverly Hills near Los Angeles will be more than happy to discuss your tooth replacement options with you.
Tooth veneers are coverings over the teeth that just cover the front portion of the teeth. This isn’t a complete tooth replacement but if caused by trauma, most of the crown or top of the tooth that is gone needs to be replaced. If the root is intact but the crown is severely damaged then a veneer is a great option for tooth replacement. The surface of the tooth is prepared and the veneer is sealed on creating a cap over the smiling surface of the tooth.
Dental Implants are used to replace individual teeth or used as an anchor for dentures to snap onto the “screw” to hold it in place. The individual tooth will snap onto the “screw” and hold it in place as well. Dental implants are being used more commonly as tooth replacement options.
[ See: Dental Implants Cost in Los Angeles ]
Dentures have been a tooth replacement procedure for decades. George Washington is said to have had the first set made for him carved out of wood and real teeth embedded into the wood. Procedures have come a long way since then and dentures are now more comfortable and we use acrylic teeth.
A denture can be complete meaning they cover the whole dental arch, replacing all the teeth. A partial denture replaces some missing teeth and uses clasps to hold them in. They are usually metal framework under acrylic with acrylic teeth on the top. There is another flexible material that can be used as well.
[ See: Cost of Dentures in Los Angeles ]
Bridges can be used to replace a single tooth or a couple. The procedure involves putting crowns on the two abutments (teeth on either side of the missing tooth). If there is no space then a cantilever bridge can be done. This is where the missing tooth is replaced with just the crown (top) of the tooth extending from the anchor tooth. A cantilever will help with chewing.
You can also choose to do nothing for tooth replacement. However, when teeth are missing, it is important to replace them with a prosthetic or fake tooth. The reason for tooth replacement is that the existing tooth can move forward to try to fill in the missing space. The movement will result in exposing the root of the migrating tooth. This can lead to the tooth being hypersensitive or decay on the root surface. The root structure is not as strong as the enamel on top of the tooth and will decay more rapidly.
How Do I Decide What To Do For Tooth Replacement?
When you make your first appointment we will get some diagnostic information from you. We will do x-rays, study models, wax bite impressions, and some facial measurements if required. We will then compile all the information together and create some options for you to choose from. Our front office dental professionals will even get insurance information and let you know what is covered. We will not do any procedures until you decide what option will work for you. Then we will schedule procedure appointments accordingly.
As mentioned above, there are several tooth replacement options. We discussed options for even covering the front surface of a tooth with a veneer. There are so many ways to make your smile more to your liking. Tooth replacement isn’t just for looks. Other reasons include chewing, which aids in proper digestion, speech, and better oral hygiene. Having a great smile boosts self-confidence and self-esteem. We strive to find the best tooth replacement procedures that will bring the most benefit to our patients. We look forward to working with you to find the best option.