Fixed Bridges are similar to a crown, but involves several teeth. A bridge is an excellent option when one or more teeth are extracted, creating a gap between teeth, and the remaining teeth on both sides of the gap are strong. The teeth on both sides of the gap are reshaped to receive crowns and the missing teeth are anchored to them. Bridges are cemented in place and resemble natural teeth.
Partial Dentures are replacement options when one to several teeth are missing teeth and are not in a single area. Partial dentures attach to remaining teeth with either metal or plastic clasps. Partials are not permanently cemented and should be removed at night. Traditional partials are fabricated with a combination of metal and acrylic and natural looking porcelain or plastic teeth. In the event another tooth is extracted, a new tooth can easily be added to an existing partial, allowing continued use of the partial. Flexible partials are made with a plastic that is very strong yet flexible. They do not contain metal clasps and are lighter and more esthetic. Flexible partials can be made more quickly, but making changes, like adding teeth, is more difficult.
When all teeth are missing, a full denture/plate is used to restore form and function. The fit and stability of the denture is dependent on the structure of the underlying bone and tissue.
Dental Implants are titanium posts that are inserted into the jawbone. They can be inserted at the time a tooth is extracted or after the area has healed. Implants come in many shapes, lengths, and diameters. Implants can replace one or many teeth and is the most natural or tooth-like replacement. The process is relatively painless, but takes more time than any other tooth replacement option. Once the implant is inserted in the bone, there is a healing period of several weeks to months, after which it will be sturdy and ready to restore with a crown or overdenture.