Having missing teeth can be frustrating, embarrassing and uncomfortable.  Luckily, dental implants, bridges and dentures can help fix your smile and fill in those missing teeth.  Like all things in life, there are positives and negatives to these three types of treatment.  Lasting Smiles of Prospect, CT is here to serve our patients and offer our best input and knowledge as to what will be the best solution for your dental needs.

Tooth loss is a pretty common problem that affects many people at various points in their lives.  Severe gum disease, failed root canals, accidents and sport-related injuries involving the mouth are some of the major culprits of tooth loss.  Routine dental visits (here at Lasting Smiles of Prospect, we recommend two dental check-ups each year for our patients), as well as proper oral health care at home can greatly reduce your chances of preventable dental mishaps.  No matter how you lost your tooth/teeth, it is important to educate yourself on the options available to replace them properly and the pros and cons to each procedure.

There are three main ways that Lasting Smiles of Prospect replaces missing teeth: dental bridges, dental implants and dentures. 

The location of your missing teeth, condition of your surrounding teeth and the number of missing teeth help to determine which procedure is best.  Dental bridges are typically used when there are missing teeth concentrated in one specific area of the mouth.  Bridges are essentially “fake teeth” (called pontics) that are held in place by dental crowns. Depending on the amount of missing teeth and where they are located, the pontics can be cemented to surrounding teeth to fill in the gaps in your mouth.  This dental procedure also helps with your alignment and bite of your teeth.  A major advantage of dental bridges is how simple of a procedure it is.  It does not require surgery, takes only a few weeks from start to finish and is affordable.  Some disadvantages include dental bridge replacement every 5-7 years, not as aesthetically pleasing as other procedures and they can damage surrounding natural teeth.

A dental implant is another way we replace missing teeth.  To do so, we place an artificial root into your jawbone.  A crown (or bridge) is then placed on top of the dental implant.  This procedure is mostly used on patients who have a number of missing teeth.  Dental implants are very aesthetically pleasing and are the most natural looking.  They require very little maintenance, can last a lifetime without replacement and help to protect your surrounding teeth.  Although this is an effective and popular procedure, one downfall to this tooth replacement technique is that it requires two surgeries: one for the dental implants and one for the bridge or crowns.  In order to allow your gums to fully heal, you can expect to have to wait at least five-six months before the bridges are permanently fitted to your mouth.  Another disadvantage to dental implants is the high cost compared to other procedures. 

The final procedure we can perform for missing teeth is dentures (removable false teeth).  They are either made of plastic or a mixture of metal and plastic materials.  The false teeth are fitted on a plate that is held in place with a clasp, which secures the dentures to your mouth.  Although metal-based dentures are more expensive than plastic ones, they are more durable and give the best overall aesthetic appearance.  It is important to care for your dentures as you would your real teeth.  This includes regular brushing for two minutes, two times a day with toothpaste.  A main advantage of opting for dentures is the procedure and recovery time is much shorter than that of dental implants.  Dentures can also support your facial features, leaving you with a very natural looking smile.  Disadvantages of dentures include altering your speech, slight discomfort and hindering eating certain foods due to shifting teeth while chewing.

Dr. Socarras, family dentist at Lasting Smiles of Prospect, will help guide you in the right direction when it comes to choosing the best procedure to replace your missing teeth.  Him and his team will determine the appropriate solution for your smile based on the condition of your surrounding teeth and your overall dental health history.  Through the use of dental bridges, dental implants and dentures, your smile can be resurrected at Lasting Smiles of Prospect dental office!  Dr. Socarras and his dental team are happy to provide superior service to the Prospect, CT region. 

Call our office directly at (203) 941-7786 to schedule a consultation to learn more about dentures, dental bridges or dental implant procedures.