What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants can be a great solution if you are missing many teeth but don’t want to deal with the maintenance and other difficulties of wearing dentures. Dental implants are permanent artificial teeth that look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.
Dental implants carry all the benefits of real teeth. With dental implants you can enjoy all of the following…
- A completely natural-looking smile – No one will know you have implants unless you choose to tell them.
- No additional maintenance needed – You simply floss and brush your teeth like you normally would to keep them clean.
- No diet restrictions – Since your new teeth have virtually the same durability and function as natural teeth, you can enjoy all your favorite foods without hesitation.
- Improved speech – Some people find that their speech is affected when they’ve lost teeth or even when they wear dentures. Dental implants can eliminate these types of issues.
What Does The Dental Implant Process Entail?
A dental implant consists of three parts:
- A metal post is placed in your jaw and serves as an artificial tooth root.
- An “abutment” attaches to the artificial root. This piece connects the root to your new tooth.
- The visible portion of your tooth, called the “crown,” attaches to the abutment.
The dental implant procedure itself can vary based on your specific needs, the number of implants you need, and whether any damaged teeth need to be extracted first.
What Is A Dental Bridge?
Simply put, a dental bridge is a permanent dental restoration that can replace your lost tooth or teeth. You may be surprised to learn, though, that dental bridges come with numerous benefits beyond filling a missing tooth gap and improving your smile’s aesthetic appearance. For example, a dental bridge can restore your chewing and speaking ability. It can also prevent your other teeth from drifting out of position. Dental bridges can even help to maintain your overall facial shape!
As with almost all restorations, there are many types of bridges that you can choose from, and your dentist at Old Greenwich Dental Associates can help you make the best choice. The most traditional bridge, which consists of porcelain fused to metal, is also the most popular, mainly because porcelain resembles your natural tooth color. With this type of bridge, two crowns are placed over two anchoring (abutment) teeth, and these crowns are then attached to your new artificial tooth or teeth (pontics). In this way, the gap created by a missing tooth or by missing teeth is filling in with natural-looking new teeth. Fixed dental bridges can last for several years before needing to be replaced or re-cemented.
How Is A Fixed Dental Bridge Placed?
Getting a fixed dental bridge usually requires two or more visits. During your first visit, your dentist will numb your teeth and then prepare the anchoring (abutment) teeth on each side of the gap by removing a portion of enamel. This will create room on each tooth for a crown. Next, we will make a highly accurate impression (or mold) of your teeth, which will be sent to a dental laboratory for help in creating your permanent bridge. Finally, we will provide you with a temporary bridge, which you will wear to help protect your teeth and smile while you wait for your final, permanent bridge to be created.
Several weeks later, you will return for your next visit to receive your new permanent bridge. Your dentist will carefully check, adjust, and cement your dental bridge to ensure it has a proper fit. Occasionally, a patient’s bridge will be attached with temporary cement only, allowing extra time for the teeth and tissue to get used to the new bridge. If this happens, we will have you schedule a third appointment for your new bridge to be permanently cemented at a later date.
Inlay & Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are considered a conservative method of treating damaged teeth. They are used instead of placing a crown. Some dentists even use inlays and onlays to treat tooth decay. Instead of filling in the tooth, your dentist may use dental inlays and onlays. Dental inlays and onlays are made in a dental lab and then fitted to your tooth. They are then bonded to your tooth.