If oral injury, gum disease or deep decay lead to tooth loss, expedient replacement normalizes speech, eating and smile aesthetics. Also, the alveolar ridge, the portion of the jaw bone which anchors teeth, recedes quickly after tooth extraction. Weakened bone impacts the strength and alignment of adjacent teeth and the youthfulness of facial features. For your best tooth replacement options, consult Dr. Victor Beck Jr. and Dr. Matthew Hart. They deliver beautiful fixed dental bridges and dental implants in their Columbia, TN dental practice.
Replacing Teeth with Dental Bridges and Implants in Columbia
The American Academy of Implant Dentistry says that fixed bridgework has been the traditional tooth replacement option for generations. Supported by neighboring natural teeth on either side of the prosthetic appliance, bridgework is cost-effective, realistic and helpful to biting, chewing, speaking and facial appearance. Remaining teeth stay well-aligned with bridgework permanently cemented in place.
Bridgework replaces one or more teeth in a row. Surrounding teeth anchor the artificial, or pontic, via:
- Dental crowns (involves grinding down healthy tooth enamel so the abutment teeth receive the caps)
- Composite resin bonding to neighboring teeth (a Maryland bridge)
While traditional fixed bridgework is less costly at the outset, it deteriorates over time and will require replacement within seven to ten years. Also, bridgework does not exercise the jaw bone beneath the artificial teeth. So, bone recession occurs relatively quickly.
Presently, the superior choice for tooth replacement is the dental implant. Made up of a titanium screw placed by an oral surgeon into the empty tooth socket, the dental implant also has an extension post above the gums or and a customized porcelain crown to finish the restoration.
Similar to bridgework, the dental implant is an in-office procedure, but it involves more visits spaced weeks apart to allow for healing. The single implant device provides a secure anchor for the prosthetic tooth because the titanium metal and the bone meld through a process called osseointegration. Unlike bridgework, implants actually strengthen the jaw bone.
Dental implants in Columbia cost more than dental bridges. However, dental implants last for decades and likely never need replacement. Their retention rate is very high. Plus, they contribute to the health of neighboring teeth, stopping the alignment shifts and connective tissue weakening that happens to natural teeth adjacent to a smile gap.
Finally, the dentists often use multiple dental implants to secure bridgework or fixed or removable dentures. Denture patients enjoy amazing stability with implant-supported prosthetics, and they say their new teeth feel just like the real thing!
Which Should You Choose?
Dr. Beck or Dr. Hart will explain your tooth replacement options, discussing costs, aesthetics, and other issues important to your individual smile. If you have lost a tooth, please don’t delay. Contact the friendly office staff at Beck Dental Care for a restorative dentistry consultation.