Dental Implant Alternatives
When adult teeth are lost, oral functions are compromised and the structure of the mouth and the health of surrounding teeth are threatened. Dental implants replace the roots and crown of a missing tooth to restore oral function and preserve the integrity of the smile. While dental implants are a highly effective treatment, not all patients are ideal candidates for this procedure.
At The Smile Center, we offer several dental implant alternatives that allow individuals from Virginia Beach, VA, and surrounding areas to address tooth loss. Patients can choose the treatment method that is right for them based on their unique needs and desires.
Traditional Dental Bridge
A traditional dental bridge is suitable for patients who have lost one to three teeth from the same area of the mouth. Like an implant-supported bridge, a traditional dental bridge is made up of a pontic piece, which is one solid restoration that is designed to resemble up to three missing teeth.
Whereas an implant-supported bridge is anchored down by dental implants, a traditional bridge is supported by two dental crowns. One dental crown is fitted to each of the two teeth that are immediately adjacent to the area of tooth loss. The pontic piece is bonded to these dental crowns to provide patients with a strong and secure appliance.
Removable Partial Denture
Removable partial dentures are another common alternative for dental implants. A partial denture is customized to replace up to several missing teeth. Dentures can be fabricated to fit around the natural teeth, so a partial denture is a good for individuals who have lost multiple teeth from their top or bottom dental arch.
A removable partial denture consists of a plastic base (which resembles the natural gumline), artificial teeth, and usually some type of metal structure (such as hooks) that helps secure the partial denture around adjacent teeth. Removable dentures are meant to be taken out of the mouth for cleaning, or while a patient sleeps.
While not secure as dental implants or a dental bridge, new technology allows us to customize the fit of your partial denture. Modern partial dentures sit much more comfortably and securely than the partial dentures of the past.
Removable Full Denture
If our Virginia Beach patients have lost most or all of their teeth along an entire dental arch, then a full denture will be necessary. Full dentures can be anchored to a series of dental implants. However, if patients lack the bone density to support a dental implant, or if dental implant treatment is too costly, they can consider a removable full denture.
Like a partial denture, full dentures have a plastic base that supports the false teeth. The denture sits over the patient’s natural gumline, creating a seal that helps to hold them in place. Denture adhesives can be used for additional stability.
Removable full dentures do not provide the same security as implant-supported dentures, but they allow patients to restore the appearance of their smile and help patients eat many of their favorite foods again.
Learn More About Treating Tooth Loss
If you have experienced tooth loss and are unsure about the best way to rebuild your smile, the experienced dentists at The Smile Center can help you explore your treatment options. To learn more, contact us online at your earliest convenience, or call our Virginia Beach dental practice at (757) 473-8482.