Whether you’ve recently lost your tooth or have been missing teeth for a while, a dental implant can help address the missing space. Not only can missing teeth be esthetically unappealing, the lack of teeth also greatly decreases the ability to properly breakdown foods and can put more wear and tear on your remaining teeth. An implant is a titanium grade tooth substitute that is extremely biocompatible and integrated with your own natural bone. The implant allows the doctor to restore that missing space into a functional and natural looking tooth. In this short video, Dr. Nguyen shows the implant or fixture, which is the portion that is surgically implanted in the jaw. More information about dental implants, along with details about our free dental implant consultation, can be found on our dental implant page.
A dental bridge can be a great alternative to dental implants for addressing missing spaces without the need for surgery. Bridges replace missing teeth by using the surrounding teeth as support. Dr. Nguyen may use one of four different types of dental bridges. Traditional bridges, the most popular type, require the surrounding supporting teeth to have the enamel removed and replaced with crowns to support the tooth replacement (called a pontic).
A Maryland bridge, a more conservative option, involves bonding supportive brackets to the back of each of the supporting teeth to keep the pontic in place. If your missing tooth is located in the back, with only one nearby tooth to support it, a special type of dental bridge called a cantilever bridge may work for you.
The final type of bridge is the implant-supported bridge. These bridges are similar to dentures, but rather than being removable, they are permanently held in place by implants surgically implanted in the jaw. Because an implant-supported bridge replaces some of the missing tooth roots, your bone is better preserved.
Regardless of the type of dental bridge you receive, it will appear natural and remain permanently bonded in your mouth. More information about bridges can be found on our dental bridges page.
Partial and Full Dentures
Dentures are a removable tooth-replacement option that restore chewing function and enable patients who have lost most of their natural teeth to smile with confidence. Dr. Nguyen takes a mold of your top jaw and bottom jaw when creating your custom dentures. If you need any teeth extracted, he will wait until after the gums have healed to create the molds. He will also help you select the size, shape, and shade of the replacement teeth. These impressions and tooth choices are then sent to a dental lab.
The dental lab will create a mockup of your new dentures (plastic teeth set in wax) for you to try on and see if you are happy with their general look and feel. After you approve of them, the lab will create your final dentures. Dr Nguyen will work with you to ensure a proper fit and bite, adjusting them as necessary.
Customized dentures are functional and comfortable for our patients. Dr. Nguyen will instruct you on how to properly apply adhesive to the dentures to help them create a tight vacuum in your mouth, as well as the best ways to care for your new oral appliances at home. You will remove them each night to allow them to soak in a cleansing solution. You may also need to follow a few minor food restrictions to prevent damaging or breaking your new dentures. This is the best way to ensure that your dentures last toward the longer end of the typical lifespan, which is five to seven years.
More information about dentures can be found on our dentures page.
To find out which of these options would work best for you, Schedule a consultation with Dr. Andrew Nguyen at Blue Wave Smiles today!