When teeth are missing, it can seriously affect your oral health and everyday life. Missing teeth can make eating difficult, which makes it harder to get the proper nutrition. Additionally, many people with missing teeth feel that they can’t smile fully without feeling self-conscious. At Hill & Ioppolo Oral & Dental Implant Surgery of Lubbock, we understand that every individual is unique, and each patient requires care that is customized to fit their particular condition, goals, and needs.
Dr. Robert B. Ioppolo is an expert at dental implant procedures and other implant-supported tooth replacement solutions, but implants are not right for everyone. When you come to our office for a consultation, our surgery staff will be able to explain all of your treatment options to help you find the one that best fits your situation. Below, we've summarized some of the differences between implants, full-arch replacements, dental bridges, and traditional dentures, a few of the most common treatment options for missing teeth.
Dental implants have become the standard of care for replacing a missing tooth because they are strong, secure, natural looking, and they prevent bone loss from occurring around the missing tooth sites. No other tooth replacement options prevent bone loss as well as dental implants. Implants are a good option for patients who are missing just one or a few teeth and are healthy enough to undergo minor dental procedures. Patients with partial dentures who are looking for a more secure and permanent solution may also be drawn to implants.
For patients missing a large number of teeth, the full-arch restoration procedure delivers the benefits of dental implants without the inconvenience of having multiple separate procedures to replace each tooth. A few implants will be used to support a full fixed denture, preventing bone loss while giving the patient a fully functional set of nonremovable teeth. Patients who have many missing teeth or those who are unhappy with dentures slipping and moving around should consider a full-arch procedure. Like with implants, candidates must be able to undergo a dental procedure and healing period.
Dental bridges are a common way to replace one or two teeth in a row. A dentist usually places a bridge — your new replacement tooth will be held in place by two crowns, which are affixed to your existing healthy teeth. Bridges are a good option for patients who cannot receive implants but still want a nonremovable tooth replacement option.
Dentures have been used to replace missing teeth for centuries, and in recent years, they have improved substantially in function and quality. Partial dentures can replace a few missing teeth, or full dentures can be used to replace an entire upper and lower arch of missing teeth. Patients who prefer a removable option may be drawn to dentures. Dentures are also a good option for patients who are unable to undergo any dental procedures. Usually, dentures are made by your dentist.
If you have missing or failing teeth, Dr. Ioppolo is here to help you find a treatment option that works for you. We specialize in dental implants, implant-supported bridges, and full-arch procedures, but your oral surgeon will be happy to review all of your options with you. Give our office a call to schedule a consultation and start moving towards your new smile.