Any good dentist can fill a cavity, provide deep teeth cleaning, and perhaps even offer some whitening procedures. But some problems are a little more drastic. Anywhere from 33 to 70% of 35- to 44-year-olds have at least one missing tooth, and by the age of 65, almost a third of all people have lost every one of their natural teeth. The question then is not just who is the best dentist for your overall health, but who is the best dentist for a tooth replacement procedure.
The first step is deciding which procedure you need done. Your two main options are dentures and implants. Here’s a quick breakdown of each.
- Dentures: Replacement teeth that are fitted on top of your gums, held in place either by dental adhesive or contact tension with surrounding teeth. Can be single tooth, a bridge, or an entire upper or lower set.
- Pros: Less expensive than implants; simpler maintenance (though frequent); good for weak or brittle jawbones that can’t withstand an implant
- Cons: Require periodic adjustment; more frequent maintenance; may necessitate retraining for speaking and chewing
- Implants: Surgically implanted metal rods that serve as replacement roots within the jawbone for replacement teeth. Can be a single tooth, a bridge, or an entire upper or lower set.
- Pros: Can be matched more closely to natural teeth and bite pattern; one implant can serve as a base for multiple replacement teeth (an entire upper and lower set can be placed on as little as six implants); durable; can last a lifetime with proper care
- Cons: Much more expensive; require strong, healthy jawbones; more involved maintenance; risk of infection (as with any surgical procedure)
The best dentist to ask about dental replacement options is, of course, your local dentist, with whom you already have a working relationship. If they themselves can’t do the procedure, they can easily recommend the best cosmetic dentist for your situation. Finding the best dentist for your replacement is crucial to your health, your smile, and your peace of mind. Find more.