Dentures replace or repair missing or damaged teeth. They can do a lot more than improve your smile. A missing tooth can affect your ability to chew and increase your risk for gum disease. A missing tooth can also affect the bone health of the jaw and put other teeth at risk.
There are several types of fixed dental appliances, such as crowns and implants, and removable devices, including full or partial dentures, which can be removed as needed.
In this article, we go over five types of dentures so that you can have an informed discussion with your dentist about which one is best for you.
A dental crown is a new coating for a damaged tooth.
A crown can be metal or porcelain. Crowns tend to be good long-term solutions for teeth that have been chipped, cracked, or worn. But teeth that require major restoration are at a much higher risk of failure, according to a 2018 study in the
Getting a crown often requires two appointments. In a typical process for a dental crown, a dentist:
- Get a soft mold of your teeth.
- Fill all the cavities of the damaged tooth (if necessary).
- Trim the tooth to prepare it for a crown.
- Place a temporary crown on the tooth while a permanent crown is made in the lab.
- After a few weeks, place a permanent crown which is cemented in place.
Dental offices that can fabricate crowns on-site can offer crowns the same day.
Crowns are considered a relatively permanent solution. Once a crown is in place, it should last 5 to 15 years or even longer if properly maintained. You should brush and floss with a crown just like you would any other tooth.
A crown can crack or flake over time, or the cement that holds it in place can soften. This can allow bacteria to move around and infect the tooth.
One option for replacing a missing tooth is a dental implant. This type of prosthesis is placed in the jawbone and held in place while new bone material forms around it.
Here is the typical procedure for a dental implant:
- An implant (a screw-like device) is first inserted into the jawbone.
- The dentist can add an abutment that holds the crown. If the bone around the implant needs to heal first, the abutment will be added a few months later.
- A crown is cemented to the abutment to match the surrounding teeth.
But as implants are used more and more, they can have mechanical, technical and biological effects.
- screw loosening
- cement break
- fractured porcelain
- complications in the soft tissue or bone around the implant
The decision to choose implants or dentures may depend on the cost and the amount of bone in which to place an implant.
Cost is also a big factor in dental implants. An implant can cost as much as $ 1,600 to $ 3,000 for the implant alone. Then a crown and a possible abutment could cost another $ 1,500 to $ 3,000. By comparison, the American Dental Association reports that supplement upper or lower dentures cost about $ 1,600. These costs also depend on your location.
When one or more teeth are missing, a dental bridge is a compromise between dentures and implants.
As the name suggests, a dental bridge is intended to fill a void left by missing teeth. A bridge is usually anchored to natural teeth at both ends of the space and may consist of one or more false teeth called pontics. In some cases, a bridge can be attached to an implant for added security and stability.
A bridge is often made of porcelain to resemble natural teeth and should be brushed and flossed regularly. Special flossing aids called threaders may be needed to get the dental floss between the bridge and the gum line.
Here is the typical process for getting a bridge:
- On the first appointment, the anchor teeth on each side of the bridge are filed down and a mold is made of your mouth. A temporary bridge can be made to fill the void while a permanent bridge is made in a matter of weeks.
- At the second appointment, the permanent bridge is placed. All the minor adjustments necessary are made to make the deck look natural and work with your natural bite. The bridge is then cemented in place.
A well-made bridge can last for decades, but 5 to 15 years is a reasonable expectation.
Costs for a bridge can range from $ 500 per pontic to $ 1,200 or more. This cost does not include the cost of a crown, which alone can cost between $ 500 and $ 2,500 per tooth. As with other dentures, these costs depend on your location.
Dentures are dentures that fit perfectly on the gums and look and function like natural teeth. They are also called false teeth.
The extent of tooth loss and your preferences will help you determine which type of denture is best for you. The most common types of prostheses include:
- Complete dentures replace all of your teeth and should be removed daily for cleaning.
- Removable partial dentures replace some but not all of your teeth.
- Fixed partial dentures are also known as implant-supported bridges.
- Implant-borne prostheses are affixed to implants but must be removed daily for cleaning (also called pluggable prostheses).
Another type of prosthesis is called a flipper. These are temporary partial dentures replacing one or two teeth. They are made of materials that are less durable than regular partial dentures because they are intended to be used for a short time.
Veneers can help improve the color and appearance of natural teeth by covering them with a thin, natural-looking shell.
Here is the typical process for obtaining a veneer:
- The dentist will grind the enamel from your teeth and take a mold from your mouth.
- Using the mold, laboratory technicians will make your porcelain or resin-based composite veneers. The process may take a few weeks.
- The veneers are then cemented to your teeth. Ultraviolet light is used to quickly harden the cement that holds veneers attached to your teeth.
You must have relatively healthy teeth to support a veneer. Veneers can last 10 to 15 years before needing to be replaced.
The price of veneers ranges from approximately $ 925 to $ 2,500 per tooth.
A dental prosthesis is useful in providing one or more of the following benefits:
- improve the appearance of your teeth, boost confidence and self-esteem
- improve your chewing ability, allowing you to consume a healthy diet
- support the health and strength of the jaw, support the strength of other teeth
- protect against gum disease which can lead to serious health problems
See a dentist quickly if you have just lost a tooth or have had a missing tooth for some time. A missing tooth can contribute to surrounding bone loss and increase the risk of gum disease. Both can affect your overall oral health. The longer you wait, the more extensive and irreversible the damage can be.
Other symptoms that should prompt a conversation with a dentist about prosthetic solutions include:
Getting dentures can be a life changing decision. A denture can improve your smile and how you feel about your appearance, improve your oral health, and prevent problems with nutrition, digestion, gum disease, and loss of jaw material. .
Visit a dentist to start finding the right prosthetic solution for your dental needs and decide which one is best for your health and budget.