Today’s dentists have more ways to restore missing teeth than ever before. Examples include crowns, traditional dentures, and dental implants in Collierville. But which of these options is best one for you? Let’s take a closer look at each approach.
A normal tooth is made up of two parts: the area beneath the gum line, which is known as the root, and the area above the gum line, which is known as the crown.
The crown is by far the more vulnerable of the two. When it degrades, the root is subject to decay or injury. Protecting the root is the job of a dental crown. Here’s how this gentle, effective form of dental therapy works:
- The dentist shapes the remaining section of the tooth to receive a specially crafted ceramic prosthetic. The patient receives anesthetics and sometimes sedatives during the procedure.
- In the second phase of the treatment, the dentist places the crown atop the distressed tooth, using medical-grade dental cement to complete the treatment. Properly placed crowns can last 10 years or longer.
Crowns are a traditional and effective way to treat a distressed tooth. However, the base of the tooth must be healthy enough to support the restoration, a fact which limits the number of patients that this procedure can help.
Traditional dentures are one of the oldest forms of tooth restoration. A dental lab creates an artificial version of the patient’s original teeth, which is known as a denture plate. The patient uses the prosthesis to chew food and perform other common tasks.
Unfortunately, traditional dentures suffer from several limitations. They require messy adhesives, limit the patient’s diet, and may contribute to bone resorption. Nevertheless, they have helped millions of people to enjoy a better quality of life over the years.
These are currently the state-of-the-art in restorative dentistry. A dental implant consists of three parts: a small titanium post that takes the place of the root, a connector called an abutment that sits atop the post, and finally the restoration itself. This is usually a specially crafted artificial tooth made from ceramic or similar materials.
During the first phase of treatment the dentist places the base of the implant. It fuses with the bone beneath the patient’s gum line through a natural process called osseointegration. During the second phase, the dentist places the abutment and the artificial tooth.
Most dentists agree that dental implants are the best of the three approaches discussed in this post. Unlike crowns, they don’t rely on the root of the tooth for their strength. Unlike traditional dentures, they allow the patient to enjoy a full and healthy range of activities free of worry. They are as close to a fully restored natural tooth as is possible with current dental technology.
Only your dentist in Collierville can tell you which approach to restoration is best in your case. Discuss your options with him or her during your next appointment. The answers you hear may be all it takes to put a big smile on your face.
About the Author
Dr. Joshua A Holcomb is a skilled general dentist with special training in oral surgery, implant placement, sedation dentistry, and advanced restorative techniques. You can reach his office online or by calling (901) 850-0300.