Tooth Replacement

There are three options to replace missing teeth:

Implants

Implants are placed into the bone and are like a “bionic tooth” with a crown or bridge on the top. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Dental bridges may be implant supported.

Before                                                                                                                                         After

tim albrecht before implants 009tim albrecht implants after018

Fixed Bridgework

A bridge is a tooth replacement made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap – called abutment teeth – and a false tooth/teeth in between. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants. They have crowns on either side with a bridge tooth or teeth in between to replace the missing tooth/teeth.

Implants and bridges stay in the patient’s mouth. A removable option is a partial denture.

Patient Information Following Fixed Bridgework

1. Following the first appointment for your bridge, a temporary bridge is placed on each tooth involved. This offers protection and maintains your correct bite while the custom bridge is being made at the dental laboratory. Your custom bridge will be shaped and shaded much better than the temporary to match your other teeth in color, shape, and function.

2. Your anesthetic should wear off in 1 1/2 to 4 hours. You will need to come back for a second appointment when we will seat your bridge. For most patients anesthetic is not needed for this visit.

3. A temporary cement (glue) is used for easy removal of your temporary bridge at your next visit. Therefore, it is subject to being dislodged. Take care in flossing around your temporary bridge. Simply pull the floss out sideways rather than flicking it up over the tooth. If your temporary bridge comes off prior to your next appointment, chew some sugar-free gum, then place enough of it inside the temporary bridge to settle it back onto your teeth. Call us soon as possible thereafter to recement the temporary bridge, so it will stay in place until your bridge seating appointment.

4. Sometimes bridges are fitted below the gumline. Therefore, you may have some discomfort for a few days due to the irritation of that area during the procedures. Sensitivity to cold or pressure is also possible.

5. After placement, it may take a few days or weeks to get used to the new bridge. It is also common for new bridges to be sensitive to cold at first. If you feel that your bite is not correctly balanced, be sure to arrange an appointment for a simple adjustment.

6. Proper brushing and flossing are recommended to help you preserve your bridge. Your home care efforts help protect that important area where the bridge meets the root of the tooth. It is this area that is most vulnerable to decay or gum disease resulting from the bacteria in plaque.

Dentures

Dentures provide patients with extensive tooth loss restored dental function and a normal looking smile. Today’s technology and materials makes dentures more comfortable and realistic than ever. For example, implant-supported prosthetics are held firmly in place with no slipping or shifting.

Dentures offer patients with substantial or complete tooth loss a way to regain oral function and a natural looking smile again. According to the CDC, one out of every four Americans over the age of 65 has lost all of their teeth. If you are one of these patients, you may have learned to live without teeth. But you know what a toll this can take on your well-being and your social life. Missing teeth make it difficult to eat a healthy diet or speak clearly. You’ve probably learned to avoid smiling, and you may feel embarrassed about your appearance. Over time, extreme tooth loss may lead to the collapse of your facial features and wrinkling around the mouth.

Benefits of Getting Dentures at Bettendorf Dental

Dr. Christine Dahl will properly design and fit a set of partial or full dentures to greatly improve your quality of life. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy:

  • Restored ability to bite and chew a wide variety of foods. Imagine getting back to a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables again!
  • A more youthful appearance as your teeth, gums and jaw bone are restored to their original dimensions. These underlying structures keep your nose and chin from being too close together when you shut your mouth. Since you can chew normally, the muscles in your face get a good workout and remain strong and taut.
  • Better self-esteem. You can laugh and smile again without worrying what people think about your missing teeth.
  • Clearer speech. You can go back to speaking normally, making communication easier and less stressful. This can make you more outgoing and self-reliant if you’ve been avoiding social situations due to speech problems.

Types of Dentures

Dentures come in a few different varieties. The two basic types are full and partial. As the names suggest, a full denture replaces an entire set of missing teeth (upper or lower). Partial dentures generally fill in a gap where a bridge won’t provide enough support. These prosthetics are typically made of acrylic but can be placed over a metal base for added strength.

Traditional full dentures are held in place in the mouth by the pressure of the cheeks and tongue and by suction, sometimes supplemented by denture adhesive. They are removable. Partial dentures are often connected to remaining teeth with metal clasps to help prevent unwanted movement. These may be fixed or removable. Full and partial dentures are usually custom made after the removal of any remaining damaged or decayed teeth. It’s easiest to achieve the right fit after the gums have fully healed, but you may also request immediate dentures that can be worn during the healing period.

Implant-supported dentures represent the latest development in denture technology. Full or partial dentures can be fitted to titanium posts that are implanted directly into the jaw bone.

This approach has several benefits compared to traditional dentures:

  • The implants hold dentures firmly in place so there is no rubbing or irritation
  • Dentures don’t slip during biting, chewing or speaking
  • Food shouldn’t be able to work its way under the dentures when you eat
  • Implants promote normal pressure on your bone tissue, reducing the rate of resorption (bone loss) in the jaw over time
  • Implants provide more stability for lower jaw dentures than traditional prosthetics
  • Only patients with good jawbone density are candidates for oral implants. In some cases, the necessary bone support can be created through grafting.

Getting Fitted for Dentures at Bettendorf Dental

Denture fittings involve a full evaluation by Dr. Christine Dahl of your gums and jaw. You will have a mold of your jaws taken along with precise measurements showing the distance between your upper and lower jaw. These measurements and impressions are used to create “practice” models made of wax or plastic for you to try in. This allows your dentist to make adjustments prior to creating the real dentures. You will need to make choices about the “gum” and “tooth” colors used in the prosthetics as well as the size and shape of teeth and other aesthetic aspects of your dentures during this visit.

Once the final dentures are custom fabricated based on the trial pattern, you will return for a fitting. It may take several visits to get just the right fit. Proper fit is essential to prevent irritation, slipping, poor function and discomfort such as gagging sensations. There is a learning period when you first get dentures. They may initially feel a little loose and you may find that you produce more saliva than usual. You may need to practice chewing and speaking to get used to how the dentures affect these everyday activities. However, if your dentures continue to cause problems, don’t ignore this! These prosthetics should be customized precisely to provide you with years of practical use without discomfort or frustration.

Maintenance Tips for Dentures

You will need to keep your gums and your dentures clean to maintain good oral hygiene. Brush them daily as directed by your dentist. If you have removable dentures, you will need to place them in a denture cleaning solution or water overnight. The shape of your gums and jawbone will probably continue to change over the years. Don’t rely on using more and more adhesive to keep dentures in place if you notice a difference in how they fit. If your dentures become uncomfortable or loose, this is a sign that you need a checkup for adjustment or replacement.

Give our staff a call at (563) 332-1600 and make an appointment to learn about your options for teeth replacement in Bettendorf.



We are conveniently located on Maplecrest Road across from Bettendorf High School, near the Genesis Medical Plaza, and one block east of 18th Street.