Whether you are looking to replace one tooth or many, there are a number of factors to consider. Dental implants are one of the preferred ways for replacing missing teeth because they look and function like a real tooth. Often your tooth replacement options will depend on things like how teeth became lost or damaged, how strong the jaw and bone structure is and what dental procedures may be needed in the future. Find out more below.
Tooth implants are the gold standard for replacing missing teeth and have been for many years. The implant houses a prosthetic tooth – known as a crown – and is inserted into the jaw. Unlike other types of tooth replacement options, once dental implants have healed, there are virtually no restrictions or limitations. It’s just like having a real tooth.
In recent years, digital technology has made dental implants even more desirable. Dentists are able to create precise models of patients’ jaws, gums and teeth and can place the dental implants into exactly the right place using computer-guided surgery. Digital dental implants offer a more efficient and accurate procedure than traditional methods.
Treatment for dental implants does need to be done in stages. Because they are inserted into the jawbone, time needs to be factored in for the bone to fuse with the implant, and for the site to become stable enough to support the crown. Generally, it takes 3-9 months for the entire dental implants process to be finished but don’t worry, you won’t be without a tooth or teeth as temporary crowns are usually fitted if the missing gap is in the smile line.
Crowns and Bridges
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, people are often confused between dental implants, crowns, and bridges. Dental implants are for teeth that have been completely removed with no existing root or tooth structure.
Crowns are the prosthetic teeth that sit on the dental implant but can be used on their own for things like broken teeth, teeth that have become damaged through grinding, decay, or jaw clenching, to fix cosmetic imperfections, or as part of a procedure like root canal therapy.
Crowns are for one tooth; bridges are for multiple. They can both be used with dental implants or as stand-alone tooth replacement options. Sometimes it might be necessary to be fitted with temporary crowns or bridges while the final versions are being custom-made.
Dentures can be partial (for a few teeth) or complete (to replace all teeth). They’ve come a long way since the stereotypical fake teeth of times gone by. Modern versions can look incredibly realistic and are more comfortable to wear than they used to be. They are fitted to the gumline but remember, they need to be removed for cleaning or sleeping.
Sometimes they are the only tooth replacement options available to people because not all jaws and bones are able to support more permanent solutions such as crowns, bridges, and dental implants.
Okay, so this isn’t really a full tooth replacement option as such, but dental bonding does patch teeth up – and is a little more finessed than it sounds. A hard tooth-coloured material is applied to the tooth/teeth and may be used to repair things like cracks, minor gaps, tooth size, minor fractures and more. It may also be recommended or used as a preventative measure if your teeth are at risk of breaking. The good news is that dental bonding can be applied in one short appointment – Typically, it only takes about 30 minutes in the chair.
Confused about your tooth replacement options? You don’t have to make the decision alone. The friendly and experienced team at Leichhardt Dental Centre are here to help. Book a consultation or call us on (02) 9100 0188 today.
NCBI – History of Dental Implants
Healthline – Everything To Know About A Dental Implant Procedure
WebMD – Teeth Bonding