From a functional view, however, you should still consider replacing missing back teeth. Not only will it improve your chewing ability, it may also prevent a chain reaction of negative effects to your remaining teeth.
Dental implants are an excellent solution for replacing missing teeth. They act as closely to natural teeth as possible. At Dentistry of Arizona in Surprise, we are happy to evaluate and discuss if dental implants are an option for you.
What is a dental implant?
Dental Implants are typically the ideal solution to replacing a missing tooth or several teeth. A dental implant is a titanium tooth root substitute that can replace a natural tooth that has been lost due to trauma, fracture, decay, or severe gum (periodontal disease). A dental implant consists of three parts: the implant itself which is surgically placed under the gums and solidifies to your jaw bone; an abutment, which is the foundation on which your new tooth will be seated; and a porcelain crown, which is the tooth that is visible above the gum.
What are the benefits of a dental implant versus other options?
- Dental implants generally last a very long time because they cannot get cavities. They are made from titanium and the crown is made from porcelain
- Dental implants keep "a one tooth problem a one tooth problem." We do not need to do anything to adjacent teeth like we would if we did a bridge. A Bridge would require us to drill and prepare the adjacent teeth. No other teeth are affected when a dental implant is used.
- Dental implants can replace many missing teeth
- Dental implants can support a bridge for the replacement of multiple missing teeth
- Dental implants can stabilize loose or uncomfortable traditional dentures. Dentures can be challenging to use since the rock and wobble. When they are stabilized by implants, patients find that the dentures are better anchored and stay in place while they chew and talk
- Dental implants give new teeth that both look and feel natural
- Dental implants do not need to be removed
How much do dental implants cost?
Our treatment coordinator will review dental implant cost that is customized to your insurance plan or cash payment. Each insurance plan differs in how much they will cover for your dental implant and they may vary in restrictions. For patients without dental insurance, we offer a helpful Dentistry of Arizona Membership Club that can help make treatment more affordable. In general, a dental implant, abutment, and crown (without the need for additional bone grafting or sinus lifts during surgery to make the implant successful) is around $4000 per tooth.
We are excited to meet with you and discuss if dental implants are the best solution for you.
When your teeth are missing, it greatly affects your smile or chewing function. At the same time, the missing tooth has the potential to negatively affect the remaining teeth as they can begin to shift and become uneven. Dental bridges are one of many options aimed at improving the appearance and function of your teeth by replacing the missing tooth or teeth. During your exam, we will discuss whether or not dental bridges are right for you.
A dental bridge consists of an artificial porcelain tooth connected to a set or crowns used to fill a gap created by one or more missing teeth. At Dentistry of Arizona in Surprise, Dr. Ewell will create a custom tooth bridge for your mouth that will look and function like your natural teeth. We use either all porcelain bridges or porcelain bridges with a metal substructure. Dr. Ewell will determine which material of bridge is most suitable for long-term success in your unique situation.
During your first appointment for a bridge, Dr. Ewell gets the area numb and uses a dental hand piece to prepare the neighboring teeth that are adjacent to the missing tooth. These neighboring teeth are going to support and act as anchors for the bridge. Next, an impression is taken of the prepared teeth. The impression is used to fabricate a model or your mouth on which the final bridge is made. Our skilled dental assistants will make a temporary bridge made from acrylic which you will wear while the laboratory makes your porcelain bridge. At your second visit, the temporary bridge is gently removed and the final bridge is cemented.
A bridge is not removable and gives you excellent chewing function. It is important that you floss underneath the bridge to prevent cavities. Dr. Ewell and team will instruct you on how to clean around and under your bridge. When kept clean, bridges last for many years.
If you are missing most or all of your teeth, dentures and partial dentures can provide a positive solution to improving your oral health. We are proud to provide dentures that are designed to fit your mouth for proper function and unique comfort.
What are dentures?
Dentures are replacements for missing teeth. Dentures are an appropriate option when we need to replace almost all of the teeth in the mouth. While it can take a while to get used to dentures, because they will never feel like a perfect replica of one's natural teeth, today's dentures are more natural looking and much more comfortable than ever.
Dentures come in two different types: full and partial dentures. After making an appointment, Dr. Ewell at Dentistry of Arizona in Surprise will help you choose the best type of denture for you. We will base it on how many teeth need to be removed or replaced and will review how much it will cost.
How long before I get used to my dentures?
New dentures may feel awkward or uncomfortable for the first few weeks or even months. There is a learning curve to being able to chew and speak with dentures. They will take practice. A bulky or loose feeling denture is not uncommon. Dentures rock and food may become lodged under them. You may need to use denture adhesive. Over time, the muscles of your cheeks and tongue learn to hold your dentures in place. You may experience an increase in saliva which is normal. If you experience sore spots, visit Dr. Ewell for an adjustment.
Dental implants can improve the stability and function of full or partial dentures. Dr. Ewell and the team at Dentistry of Arizona in Surprise are happy to discuss your options.
How long do dentures last?
Our bodies constantly change over time. Gums will change their shape over the years, particularly when wearing dentures. At the minimum, you should see your dentist annually to have your dentures evaluated. Generally, dentures may need to be rebased, reline, or remade due to normal wear and tear every 5-7 years. Rebasing means making a new base while keeping the existing denture teeth. In some cases, an entirely new denture will need to be made.
What are the kinds of dentures?
- Conventional Full Dentures are made from acrylic and replace all teeth in either the upper or lower jaw. They are placed in your mouth after all teeth have been removed. Healing may take several months, during which time you are without teeth. During this healing time, you may be placed in an immediate full denture.
- Immediate full dentures are inserted immediately after teeth have been removed. A benefit of immediate dentures is that you never have to be without your teeth. However, it will need to be relined several months after being inserted because you are actively healing from extractions. The natural process of healing will make the immediate full denture loose and unstable. Once healing is complete, the immediate full denture can be relined or a new final conventional full denture is made.
- Partial denture sits on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Partial dentures are used when multiple teeth are missing, but many teeth are still healthy and can stay in your mouth. Crowns may be placed on your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the partial denture. Partial dentures provide a removable alternative to bridges. Partial dentures are less expensive than bridges.
How do dentures work?
With full dentures, a gum-colored acrylic base is placed over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the roof of your mouth, while the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue. Dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory from molds taken of your mouth. At Dentistry of Arizona in Surprise, we use a skilled local lab in Sun City West to ensure high quality of your denture. Dr. Ewell will determine which of the types of dentures described is best for you.
How can I eat better with dentures?
Implant "overdentures" are a great solution to increasing the stability of dentures. Conventional dentures are not anchored to the bone and can be unstable, thus making chewing the foods you like to eat a challenge. Dental implants can be used to anchor a denture or partial denture to help improve their stability. These "overdentures" are particularly helpful for patients who need replacement of all their lower teeth because conventional lower dentures without implants can be quite challenging to use. By implementing two or more dental implants with a denture or partial denture, patients have improved chewing function and can feel closer to what it was like before losing teeth.