Published: 10/20/2021

Replacement teeth procedures are available in dental medicine. The procedures are suggested by dentists depending on the oral health, suitability of the person. Replacing teeth is recommended not only for aesthetic purposes, when teeth are replaced they help in maintaining the shape of the face, provide support in speech, and of course in chewing food. Both dental bridges and dental implants are excellent procedures to go through if there is an issue of teeth loss. To understand which procedure suits you -the different aspects of each procedure are examined.

Dental bridges were used in situations where there was a gap between the teeth. They were used as bridges between teeth. But now when there is tooth loss, these false teeth are placed and they get support from the natural teeth that are adjacent to the missing teeth. Dental implants on the other hand are replacement teeth that have tooth roots that are fixed in the jaw bone. These roots provide support to the crowns of the teeth that are placed on top of the abutment.

Dental bridges

Dental bridges seek support from the natural teeth that are present on either side of the missing teeth. These teeth are called abutment teeth, these teeth need to be prepared to provide support to the dental bridge. They get their name from being used as a bridge between natural teeth. If there is more than one tooth that is lost, then the dental bridge can be seen as replacement teeth that are fused. If only a single tooth is lost then there will only be a single tooth structure in the bridge.

Preparing the neighbouring teeth or rather shaping the neighbouring teeth to accept the dental bridge is done under local anaesthesia. The impression of the teeth/gum is taking where the replacement teeth are going to be placed. Materials are then chosen to create the replacement teeth in the same colour as the natural teeth. The procedure is carried out under anaesthesia. These dental bridges cannot be removed like dentures and are permanent structures.

Care needs to be taken like natural teeth, brushing the replacement teeth and keeping them clean from food debris is a must. If the dental bridges are not placed properly there is a chance of decay taking place. Dentists can provide guidance on how to floss around the new dental bridge. If proper care is taken dental bridges can last for even ten years.

Dental Implants

This procedure involves placing a tooth root, this is a complex surgery as it involves placing the tooth root in the jaw bone. The artificial teeth are mounted on top of this structure. This procedure is time consuming as it requires gum healing to happen before the next procedure is planned. In this the gum lining is cut to expose the jaw bone. This bone is where the metal implant will be placed. The support given by this structure is immense as it is placed deep in the jaw bone. The healing process allows the implant to be accepted into the jaw bone.

When the healing is complete, an abutment is placed in the metal implant through another minor surgery. This is the place where the replacement teeth will be mounted. Impression of the natural teeth is taken to make a mould of the teeth and based on this the replacement teeth are made. The colour of the material is chosen to mimic the natural teeth and they are placed on the abutment and the procedure is completed.

After the surgery slight bleeding and swelling of the gums/face is expected. Dentists will provide medicines to fight the pain and any possible infection. Cleaning teeth with brushing and flossing is recommended after the pain and swelling subsides. They will provide support like natural teeth and care must be given for replacement teeth as well. Following a good lifestyle and food habits will help preserve the health of the natural teeth and replacement teeth as well.

Choosing the procedure

Both the procedures are good replacement options to go for when there is tooth loss. In the case of dental bridges, they are cheaper than implants but they do not require surgery. But there are other aspects to consider while looking at the cost of the procedure. The type of material used in each procedure; the number of procedures needed etc. All these vary according to your oral health as well. Some might need to go for supporting procedures before the actual tooth replacement is done. Dental implants are more permanent than implants and offer better stability to the replacement teeth. Dental bridges might need to be replaced after 7-10 years due to wear and tear. Dental implants take more time though as there is surgery involved whereas dental bridges can be placed in a shorter time.

Before deciding on any procedure, it is important to consult the dentists on this. They will be able to give the correct advice after a thorough dental consultation. Checking on the oral and dental health, lifestyle, habits all are checked before the most suited procedure is decided upon. This decision is made after a discussion with the person who is going through the procedure. It is important that all doubts are clarified with the dentist before deciding on the procedure. Importance is given to preserving the dental and oral health of the person and whichever procedure helps is this will be the most suited procedure. Care should also be given after the procedure, as it is the responsibility of the person to continue following good oral hygiene habits to preserve dental and oral health.

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