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Find out which tooth restoration procedure is the right choice for your smile.

Tooth loss isn’t the end of a stunning smile. More than 178 million Americans are missing one or more teeth and many of these individuals have regained confidence in their smiles through the power of some form of tooth restoration.

Restorative dentistry is a field of dental care that focuses on helping patients with damaged or missing teeth regain a functional, healthy, and beautiful smile. Dental crowns and bridges are two traditional tooth restoration procedures that you may be familiar with, but there are a few other options available as well.

Here are the three main ways Dr. Harrison can help you restore or replace your missing or damaged teeth.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a classic solution for saving a weakened tooth and have saved millions of teeth from needing extraction. When a tooth experiences extensive damage that isn’t fixable with a filling, a dental crown can be used if enough tooth structure is left to support it.

Dental crowns are the finishing touch for dental procedures.

Dental crowns are a very versatile form of restorative care, often being combined with other tooth restoration procedures. A dental crown will always be used after root canal therapy to protect the tooth. If you get a dental implant, a crown will also be used to cover it. Last but not least, dental crowns are used with dental bridges to strengthen the anchor teeth.

Modern crowns are beautiful and indistinguishable from natural teeth.

Crowns can be made of a number of materials. Most Millennium Dental patients will get a precision-milled porcelain crown custom made to match their smile. Metals crowns are another option, though tooth-like porcelain is widely preferred for a natural look.

Getting a dental crown is a breeze for patients.

The process of getting a dental crown is fairly simple. Your damaged tooth will first undergo any necessary treatment and prep, such as the removal of untreated tooth decay. From there Dr. Harrison will take impressions and images for your new crown and fit you with a temporary crown. After a couple of weeks, you’ll come back to have your beautiful, permanent crown placed. Your new crown can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years with proper oral hygiene.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a popular restorative solution for replacing missing teeth. These ‘bridge’ the gap between two teeth with a pontic (an artificial tooth on a dental bridge). Dental bridges can be used for a single missing tooth or multiple consecutively missing teeth. As mentioned before, dental bridges are used in conjunction with dental crowns on the anchor teeth.

Dental bridges help with aesthetics and function.

Dental bridges are made of the same materials as crowns and look just like natural teeth. In addition to adding beauty to your smile, they also help improve teeth function. You will need to be careful of very hard or sticky foods, but otherwise, you’ll be able to chew normally and enjoy your favorite foods.

Dental bridges also help prevent teeth from shifting after tooth loss. Natural teeth rely on the support of one another to stay in proper alignment. When a tooth or multiple teeth are removed, the surrounding teeth can shift to the side or even tilt or twist. With a bridge in place, your teeth won’t know the difference between the pontic and a natural tooth.

The dental bridge procedure is just like a crown.

The process of getting a dental bridge is nearly identical to that of a crown. The only additional step is the design of the pontic. Your treatment timeline will often be the same as a crown as well, with temporary crowns being placed until your permanent crowns and pontic is received back from the lab. The permanent crowns have the same lifespan of a single crown while the bridge itself will last 5 to 15 years.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are quickly growing to be one of the most in-demand tooth restoration options for tooth loss. Implants have a three-piece design—the titanium implant post, an abutment (foundation for the crown), and a crown to finish. Most dental implants are used to replace single missing teeth, but technological advances mean implants can now help with partial- and full-mouth restorations.

Dental implants support bridges and dentures.

If you have more than one tooth missing, dental implants are still a fantastic option. Implant-supported dentures and bridges are just like traditional bridges and dentures, but they instead attach to dental implant posts.

Opting for implant-support has a number of benefits for patients. For example, traditional bridges keep teeth from shifting, but they don’t prevent bone loss from occurring in the jaw. Another example would be the slipping issues of traditional dentures. These issues are alleviated with implant-support.

Dental implants are well-worth the more intensive treatment process.

The process of getting a dental implant is more intensive compared to bridges or crowns. The average treatment timeline can range from four to six months. This lengthy healing period is necessary for proper osseointegration, the process of your jawbone growing and bonding to the titanium implant post. Dental implants are a surgical procedure, so there is typically more discomfort experienced afterward compared to a crown or a bridge.

However, the end result is one of the best solutions for missing teeth out there. Your dental implant can last decades or even your lifetime, while the crown topping it can last an average of 10 to 15 years. You won’t experience bone loss or teeth shifting nor have to worry about the foods you eat. Best of all, dental implants are cared for just like a natural tooth.

Start your tooth restoration treatment plan by scheduling an appointment at Millennium Dental.

Once you’re ready to restore your missing teeth, give our office a call or fill out our online form to book an appointment.

Your first appointment with Dr. Harrison will be a consultation to evaluate your current oral health and determine which tooth restoration option will help you get the results you’re looking for. From there you’ll work together to create a treatment plan to revamp your smile and your next appointment will be booked.