Gaps in the mouth can severely impact oral and jaw health over time, so it is important to select the best tooth replacement options. With enough time, gaps will cause the bite to shift and the jaw to erode. Jaw erosion can lead to even more medical complications and can dramatically affect the way the overall appearance of the face. To counteract this, patients typically have one of three choices available to them – temporary bridges, fixed bridges and implants.
Temporary bridges are also known as dentures and are inexpensive tooth replacement options that can cover up one or several gaps. They are fabricated quickly and are easy to place in the mouth. People who wear them must take them out to eat certain foods or clean them, both of which can be inconvenient. Some patients also find them uncomfortable because they have a tendency to move around in the mouth.
Fixed bridges are bonded in the mouth and are more durable. A pontic is capped with a crown and attached to several other crowns that can fill out a larger gap. They are easy to install and most patients state that they feel natural. They are aesthetically superior and better designed to fit in the mouth. They are, however, more expensive than temporary bridges and don’t help prevent jaw erosion.
Implants are the superior choice in terms of aesthetics and function. Once they are placed, they last a lifetime and are more durable than natural teeth. A patient doesn’t have to alter his or her diet or lifestyle to work with them. Dental Implants are rooted in the jaw and are allowed to integrate into the bone over several weeks. This prevents jaw erosion and maintains oral health better than bridges.