Tooth replacement: Dental implants, bridge, or partial

by | March 24, 2023 | TMJ4 Morning Blend

Whether you are missing a tooth due to trauma, or a large cavity, or you simply need a “new look,” Draver Dental can help you with all of your tooth replacement needs. There are many tooth replacement options and it can be overwhelming to determine which option might be best for you. We can help you assess and plan for your unique tooth replacement goals.

Dr. Draver and the Draver Dental team can help redesign your smile to fit any need — even for unique circumstances.

Dr. Draver recently collaborated with Milwaukee Ballet to create dental prosthetics for the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Fabricating prosthetics for the Quasimodo character posed a unique artistic and technical challenge. Dr. Draver worked with costume designer Mary to make an illustrative prosthetic that aligned with the artistic staff’s vision while allowing the dancers to perform at their highest level without impeding their breathing. The entire Draver Dental team enjoyed the challenge of creating unique smiles for the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Not only can Draver Dental help fabricate a new smile for a unique circumstance like a ballet character, but our team can also help redesign your smile by replacing any missing teeth.

There are many reasons why a tooth might be missing — such as decay, infection, or a trauma like a sports injury. Some people may also have congenitally missing teeth.

Though there are many replacement options, it can be confusing to navigate what might be the best option for you.

There are three main ways to replace a tooth — a dental implant, a bridge, or a removable prosthetic.

Dental implants

A dental implant can be used to replace one tooth or multiple dental implants can be used to replace multiple teeth. An implant is a screw that is placed into the bone by an oral surgeon, which then fuses to the bone over a few months. Once the implant fuses, a crown can be fabricated and placed on top of the implant. Though implants are a slower project, they are an excellent, predictable replacement option. However, if a patient has gum disease, diabetes, or other health issues, an implant may not be as successful.

Dental bridge

Another replacement option is a dental bridge. A bridge is a prosthetic that covers two adjacent teeth with crowns, with a floating tooth in between the two teeth. A bridge relies on the health and stability of the neighboring teeth. A bridge can usually be completed within a couple weeks, which is faster than an implant. However, bridges require removing tooth structure on the adjacent teeth.

Removable prosthetics

Removable prosthetics are another type of replacement option. These prosthetics include partial dentures, full dentures, or treatment partials (flippers).

A partial denture is a removable prosthetic made of metal and acrylic. It can replace one tooth or many teeth. A partial denture clasps onto other teeth during the day and then is removed at night.

A treatment partial, or flipper, is similar to a partial denture but is more delicate, cosmetic, and typically used as an interim treatment. A treatment partial can be used until an implant or bridge can be completed. Treatment partials can also be used for teenagers that are congenitally missing teeth until their growth is completed and implants can be placed as adults.

Removable prosthetics are typically less expensive than other options, but patients may not want to remove their prosthetics and it can be difficult to learn to speak and eat with the prosthetic.

Helping you make the best choice

Although there are many replacement options, there is not one option that is best. Each patient has unique challenges and goals. Dr. Draver loves combining her passion for dentistry with artistic touches to create your unique, realistic smile. Whether a patient has functional needs, cosmetic concerns, or both, our team can help select the best replacement option to suit your needs.

Dental implants: Milwaukee dentist Hannah Draver with TMJ4's Andrea Boehlke

The video segment above featuring Milwaukee dentist Dr. Hannah Draver and TMJ4 correspondent Andrea Boehlke aired on March 24, 2023, during The Morning Blend on Milwaukee’s TMJ4.