Implants, Dentures & Bridges
Are you embarrassed by your smile? Is a missing tooth affecting your bite and smile confidence? Let us help! Dr. Richardson and Dr. Townsley, our dentists in Foley, AL can help restore your smile.
What are dental implants?
For people experiencing difficulties because of missing teeth, dental implants provided by Dr. Richardson and Dr. Townsley at Townsley Family Dental in Foley are a great solution.
Implants are the best alternative to healthy, natural teeth. These artificial roots, usually made of titanium, provide a secure base for replacement teeth. They have become increasingly popular among patients with severe and chronic dental problems. Dental implants are an excellent, long-term solution for making your teeth and mouth start to feel and look healthy again.
These implants look and work like natural teeth. The titanium fixture that the implants are grounded in actually fuses to the bones in the jaw, which makes them incredibly secure to provide worry-free eating and smiling. Implants are the only restoration that preserves your jawbone’s strength. According to a 2021 Healthline article, dental implants are made to last a lifetime.
Who can get dental implants?
Dental implants offer an excellent solution for patients needing to replace single teeth, multiple teeth, or a full set of upper or lower teeth. If your jawbone is insufficient, you may be able to have a procedure called a bone graft to build up the bone and move forward with the implants in the future. Of course, our dentist will be the best judge of the right fit for you.
What does getting dental implants involve?
Since dental implants require surgery, the process begins with evaluating your health. You will have a detailed dental exam and a review of your medical history and records by our dentist. Dr. Richardson and Dr. Townsley will talk with you about your options for anesthesia and help you determine the best one for you.
The process will typically involve several procedures over time:
Removing damaged teeth
Placing the implant(s)
Bone growth and healing
Placing the abutment
Placing the crown (artificial tooth)
What are dentures and what are the benefits?
Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are removable. They help to restore oral health and function so you can eat and speak normally.
Outside of the obvious function of chewing, dentures can also provide support to facial muscles, which helps preserve the normal look of a patient’s facial features. This can prevent sunken spots and sagging facial muscles.
What are the different types of dentures?
Although all dentures are removable and artificial, there are many different types. Our dentist at Townsley Family Dentistry can speak with patients about which type is best for each situation.
Traditional or complete dentures are used for cases in which all the teeth are lost due to injury or decay. They are made of porcelain or acrylic and are secured by suction along with dental adhesives.
Partial dentures are for patients who have only some teeth missing. They are removable but are secured through metal clips rather than adhesives.
Immediately after a patient’s teeth have been extracted, he or she can be provided with immediate or temporary dentures so that they can still chew and speak clearly while waiting for a more permanent solution.
Snap-on dentures are crowns that can be removed. They stay secure by snapping onto a surgically placed implant in the jawbone.
Overdentures are another option for patients who have lost many, but not all of their teeth. This type of denture covers any remaining teeth or implants as well as areas with no teeth remaining.
How do you take care of dentures?
Dentures are very beneficial for patients who are missing teeth because our teeth perform many functions even outside of simply chewing our food. However, regular care and maintenance of dentures is key to their proper function and avoiding embarrassing mishaps.
Dentures should always be removed and cleaned after eating. At least once daily, brush dentures with a soft brush using an ADA-approved denture cleaner.
It is also important to clean your mouth after removing dentures. Use a soft toothbrush or gauze to clean your tongue, gums, and the roof of your mouth.
Dentures must remain moist to keep their shape and last a long time, so soaking them overnight is very important. Water or a special denture-soaking solution can be used for this.
If you use denture cleaners and soaking solutions, be sure to rinse your dentures thoroughly before putting them back in your mouth. The chemicals in these solutions are not intended for the mouth but for the material in your dentures. It is important to avoid abrasive cleaners and products with bleach in them.
Lastly, be sure to prioritize regular visits with the dentist. This can ensure a consistent, quality fit and get the occasional professional cleaning of your dentures that you need.
What are dental bridges?
A dental bridge can be an excellent restorative solution for patients who are missing a few teeth. Traditional dental bridges consist of crowns that fit over your natural teeth on either side of the gap and artificial teeth that “bridge the gap.” A dental bridge is fixed to your natural teeth and is not removable except by a dentist.
The artificial replacement teeth can also be attached to dental implants; it is sometimes possible to attach them to one tooth when needed. Replacing missing teeth is important for preventing bite, chewing, and jaw pain that can come from a missing tooth.
What is the procedure like?
Before beginning a bridge procedure, the dentist will ensure that any decay or gum disease has been taken care of and will measure and inspect the area in order to size the bridge appropriately.
The healthy teeth around the missing one/ones will be filed down in preparation for the bridge installation.
The dentist will take a mold of the area and send it off to a lab to create a bridge made just to fit your mouth.
The bridge will be placed and secured by either dental cement or through a dental implant.
How long does it take to recover from the procedure?
After the anesthesia wears off from your dental bridge procedure, you may experience some soreness and a little bleeding from your gums. This soreness should last only a few days, and you may feel sensitive to hot and cold during this time as well.
How can I care for my dental bridge?
Caring for a dental bridge is similar to caring for your natural teeth. Here are some tips to keep your bridge in good condition:
Brush and floss daily.
Use a nonabrasive fluoride toothpaste.
Clean underneath your bridge every day using floss threaders or interproximal brushes (small brushes used to go in between the teeth).
Avoid biting hard or sticky foods and eating sugary foods
Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.