Regarding tooth replacement you, the patient, happily have many options. But each choice comes with a corresponding consequence. That is why a consultation beforehand is so important. The consultation will encompass many factors and must take into account your budget, comfort level, and cosmetic desires. During your consultation, your dentist will help you explore all the options available to you. He or she will ask leading questions to help you determine which approach is best for your personal needs. But, don’t forget, the tooth replacement consultation is a two-way street. You should ask questions, too. What are some questions you should ask?
You have several ways to go depending on cost and aesthetics:
• Traditional Bridgework
• Composite Bridgework
For years, traditional bridgework was the go-to procedure for dentists—that is before improved methods came along. Still, with traditional bridgework, the end result is that– at the very least– you will have a full chewing surface. Though not a perfect solution, that’s something to be happy about. But remember, if one tooth in the bridge is compromised, you lose the entire bridge.
With an implant, the dental specialist places a post (most commonly titanium) into the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. Then a crown is placed on the post. This is a more costly procedure—but for good reason. You will gain full functionality of that chewing surface, as well as a placeholder to keep other teeth from shifting in the mouth. Also, the jawbone becomes activated in the chewing process.
Composite bridgework is an interesting alternative to traditionally fixed bridgework. The main upside to composite bridge work is that the two anchor teeth won’t ground to posts. The dentist simply builds off of the adjacent teeth with composite materials to fill the gap. The pros are that it may be more aesthetically pleasing as there is no metal. And unlike traditionally fixed bridges, if one of the anchor teeth becomes compromised, you can still remove the bridge and keep at least one of the teeth.
After we cover the basics to help you make a decision and ease your mind, other questions are bound to arise. Maybe you’re thinking of some of them—such as:
• How long does the entire process take?
• What can I expect in terms of recovery time?
• How painful is the procedure? How do you alleviate the pain?
• What are the instances of failure? What then?
Cost is being addressed last here but, chances are, it’s been in the front of your mind from the moment you began considering tooth replacement. We are prepared for this eventuality when these questions arise:
• How much will each tooth replacement option cost?
• Is financing available to make the outlay easier to swallow?
At Forest & Ray, we expect your questions (having fielded them thousands of time before) and we welcome them. You can be sure that whatever tooth replacement option you choose, you will have been thoroughly briefed on all the pros and cons, the possible outcomes, and are 100% confident in your decision. Remember, the proper decision is a collaborative effort between the patient and the Forest & Ray dental professionals.