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What are the Alternative Options to Dental Implants

A woman smilingAt Signature Dental, we understand that losing teeth can happen many ways and be a very upsetting experience. A hard hit to the face can cause a tooth or teeth to be dislodged and fall out. Poor oral hygiene, malnutrition, disease, and genetic disorders can cause tooth decay and permanently damage your teeth.  Your damaged teeth could either become loose and fall out, or be pulled by your dentist.

For an adult a missing tooth or teeth can be a serious problem. Not only can it be an embarrassment aesthetically, it can cause problems with your entire mouth including how you chew your food and the way you talk.   Here at Signature Dental, we offer a full range of services to restore your self-esteem, as well as your smile.

Dental implants are a common procedure for missing teeth, but they aren’t right for everyone. We have a number of viable options to dental implants that can be offered by our dentists.  We are prepared to help you understand the tradeoffs, including cost, in making this important decision.

What are Dental Implants

Dental implants look, feel and function like real teeth. They are a permanent solution, and can’t be removed.  The procedure involves multiple steps. A small titanium post called a tooth root implant is surgically placed in the bone socket of the missing tooth or teeth. The jaw is then allowed to heal around the post to secure the rod in place.

When the jaw has healed, a small connector post called an abutment is secured to the rod. This abutment holds the fabricated new tooth in place successfully filling the space of the missing tooth. Signature Dental offers full service dental implants at both our Texas locations, as well as the alternative options explained in the rest of this article.

Dentures are Traditionally Used as an Alternative to Dental Implants

Dentures are a traditional replacement for missing teeth. Each set of dentures is custom-made and custom-fitted to your specific dental needs. The denture device itself is not permanent, and can be easily removed. Some parts may be implanted in your jaw for the dentures to be placed on.

There are two parts to dentures, a flexible polymer plate and the artificial tooth or teeth that are attached to the plate. The artificial teeth are made out of acrylic resin or porcelain. Acrylic resin teeth are a lighter material, often less expensive than porcelain teeth. Porcelain teeth look and feel similar to your natural teeth and are more resilient than acrylic resin teeth.

There are three types of dentures: conventional full dentures, immediate full dentures, and partial dentures. Conventional full dentures are used as a replacement for a full set of missing teeth. They are custom-made by a dental lab from a mold made of your teeth by your dentist.

Immediate full dentures are fitted in your mouth in the same visit when you have your teeth removed. They are often used as a temporary device to help the transition before your conventional full dentures are ready to wear.

Partial dentures are used when you only have a few missing teeth. The artificial replacement teeth are connected to your natural teeth with a metal framework and metal clips. Your partial dentures may also be connected to your natural teeth with precision attachments.

Signature Dental is well equipped to determine whether dentures are right for you, and if so, how best to proceed with these various options.  Contact Signature Dental at our Frisco or Richardson office to schedule an appointment to discuss restorative dental services today.

Bridges as an Alternative to Dental Implants for Missing Teeth

Another alternative option to a dental implant is a dental bridge. Much like dentures, a dental bridge is a simple device that is traditionally used to replace a missing tooth or several missing teeth. The dental bridge is commonly made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.

The procedure for a Dental Bridge involves a prosthetic tooth made of porcelain or ceramic, called a Pontic, to fill the space where the tooth is missing. The bridge with the Pontic is anchored by crowns cemented into place on abutment teeth. Dental bridges are a permanent dental device that are not meant to be removed.

Crowns in Conjunction with Bridges to replace Missing Teeth

A crown is a dental device that is used in conjunction with traditional dental bridges to replace a missing tooth. The bridge with a replacement tooth is attached with cement to crowns placed on either side. This secures the bridge and the Pontic in place. The crown itself is a tooth-shaped cap that is cemented in place over existing teeth. Temporary crowns, devices that are not permanent, are usually made out of stainless-steel and can be removed by your dentist. Permanent crowns are often made out of porcelain or ceramic, and are not removable.

There are Many Restorative Dental Options, We Can Help You Find the Best One

Missing teeth can be an embarrassment and a health issue. Dental implants are one device dentists use to replace missing teeth. Other devices include dentures, bridges and crowns, and all of them have different considerations, including cost. At Signature Dental, we weigh all the considerations of your situation and the benefits of each option to find the best path for you.  Contact Signature Dental at our Frisco or Richardson office to schedule an appointment to discuss restorative dental services today.

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