If you have a missing or decayed tooth, you may my need a dental implant. There are a number of benefits from dental implants in comparison to traditional options like bridges or dentures. More importantly, dental implants can last for a lifetime with the right care. Before you invest in an implant, you should discuss the procedures, benefits, and risks with Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas. First, we will talk about the alternatives to dental implants. Then, we will explain how dental implants are placed.
1. What is a Dental Bridge?
To place a bridge, Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry fills the gap where you tooth was with a dental crown. This crown is anchored on the two surrounding teeth with additional crowns. You can think of the anchoring crowns as caps that go over the existing teeth. Overall, receiving a dental bridge is less invasive procedure than a dental implant because Dr. Cox replaces the tooth, not the tooth and the root. However, in a dental bridge procedure, Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas may file down existing, healthy teeth to support the dental bridge. To some patients, this is a disadvantage because healthy teeth are altered. Overall, dental bridges do not last as long as dental implants and the teeth supporting the bridge can develop decay.
2. What is a Partial Denture?
Partial dentures replace multiple missing teeth with a pink gum-like base. The denture is placed over the gums. You can choose between removable partial dentures or fixed partial dentures, which are attached existing teeth via a metal wire. Typically, partial dentures are used to fill one more than one missing tooth, with one or more natural teeth that act as supporting structures for the partial denture.
3. How are Dental Implants Placed?
Now, let’s talk about how a dental implant is done. To place a dental implant, first, Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano will decide if you are a good candidate for a dental implant. Dr. Cox and his team will examine the amount of jawbone that is left under your tooth. Then, during surgery, Dr. Cox will clear out the missing tooth’s root and place a metal dental implant post. This will act as your tooth’s new root. The next step is to wait for bone growth around the dental implant post. At this stage, there is not a visible tooth above the gumline. Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas can give you a temporary denture to place in this area until the procedure is completed. Lastly, Dr. Cox will add a permeant crown over the dental implant post.
Just like bridges and partial dentures, dental implants vary in structure and size. If you only have one missing tooth, you can receive a singular dental implant. However, if you have multiple missing teeth, Dr. Cox may attach a row teeth to four or five posts within in the gums. Overall, dental implants offer more stability and they increase the lifespan of the oral prosthetic compared to dental bridges and partial dentures.
Choosing a dental implant can be a life changing decision. It is important to talk to Dr. Cox at Cox Family dentistry in Plano, Texas to explore all of your options first. For more information about dental implants, bridges, or partial dentures, or to plan your next visit, call Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas at (972)-468-8692, today!