Before development of dental implants, dentures were the only alternative to replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
Implants are synthetic structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are anchored to the jawbone or metal framework on the bone and act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach dentures.
Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant, however. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density and have a strong immune system. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene.
Implants are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants are usually made of a synthetic yet biocompatible material like metal or ceramic.
Surgery is necessary to prepare the area for an implant and place the implant in the mouth. Following the procedure, a period of time is required for the implant to take hold and for bone tissue to build up and anchor the device. In some cases, metal posts are inserted into the implant during a follow-up procedure to connect the tooth.
Because implants require surgery, patients are administered anesthesia and, if necessary, antibiotics to stave off infection following the procedure.
Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper care to ensure they last a long time.
A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular, because they resemble your natural teeth. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size and color of your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
Reasons for crowns:
- Broken or fractured teeth.
- Cosmetic enhancement.
- Decayed teeth.
- Fractured fillings.
- Large fillings.
- Tooth has had a root canal.
A bridge is a device used to replace missing teeth. Bridges are either non-removable (fixed bridges) or they can be removable.
Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth.
Old style removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps. Dr. Sorkin uses a more modern aesthetic design which uses no metal. The old fashioned metal clips are replaced with high-strength plastic that is light-weight, flexible and blends beautifully with your natural teeth and smile.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it’s difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals.
Types of Dentures
Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position.
Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their teeth. A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles. It will greatly enhance the facial appearance and smile.
Complete or full dentures are made when all of your natural teeth are missing. You can have a full denture on your upper or lower jaw, or both..
Dr. Sorkin can stage your dental treatment so you never have to go without front teeth. At the time of your first appointment, preliminary impressions are taken, so at the time your front teeth are removed, a transitional denture is inserted. This appliance gives you the appearance of front teeth and is worn until the extraction site heals. At this stage the final denture is constructed.
Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases, which were previously connected by a metal framework. Now with tooth-colored plastic clasps, you no longer see the unsightly metal – your natural teeth and smile shine through.
An overdenture is a removable denture that fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth or implants. The natural teeth must be prepared to provide stability and support for the denture.
Overdentures utilize dental implants, so they are more stable than adhesives. Improved stability allows you to chew food more thoroughly, helping your stomach break down food more efficiently, and absorb more nutrients.
When your overdenture is retained with implants it fits more securely than one held in with only adhesives. This fit also increases the stability of the overdenture reducing or even eliminating, unnecessary movement during chewing and talking. This lessens the instances of sores and embarrassing dislodgement.