Having a missing tooth isn't just an aesthetic problem that could potentially affect your self-confidence or self-esteem, but it can result in a number of other issues as well, including difficulty chewing, smiling or even eating. Because of this, you'll want to replace your tooth.
Fortunately, here at our dentistry in Waterloo, we offer two permanent tooth replacement options - dental implants or fixed bridges. Deciding which option is best for you depends on a number of factors.
The way dental implants work is that a titanium post is surgically placed into your jaw where the tooth is missing. There, it will function as an anchor for your replacement tooth. The replacement tooth is typically made out of a combination of titanium, which is both strong and lightweight, and other materials such as porcelain.
Patients who want dental implants must have adequate amount bone available in their jaw to support the implant. If not, they will need a procedure of grafting to help build up the area to then receive the implant. They are by far the best option for a safe and long term replacement of a missing tooth, both in how they look and how they function. In most cases, implants placed well, in the right person, can last a lifetime. Assessing if you are a candidate is done here at our dentistry in Waterloo. Dental implants take time to be placed, to heal and be ready for the replacement tooth. The treatment is phased over several months. The cost of dental implants can be more than the fixed bridge option, but not always.
A fixed bridge can be used on patients who are missing a single tooth or multiple teeth. A bridge, which is typically made out of metals or porcelain - or in some cases a combination of both - will restore your normal tooth position and functions.
It takes two trips to the dentist to undergo a fixed bridge process. The dentist will begin by taking an impression of your teeth and preparing the teeth on each side of the gap. A bridge is then made based on that impression. A temporary bridge will be used to protect your exposed teeth as you wait for the actual bridge to be made. Once the bridge is finished, it will be fitted and cemented into place.
Although a fixed bridge can cost less than dental implants, it can require more effort to clean under the artificial tooth and the teeth that are used to support the bridge can get compromised over time. The lifespan of a bridge can vary between 10 and 20 years, so if you had to pay for it more than once than the overall cost would be more than getting an implant. However, unlike dental implants, no surgery is required.
Choosing between a fixed bridge and dental implants depends on a number of factors. For additional advice on your dental health or information about our dentistry in Waterloo, contact us at Waterloo Smiles today.