At our office in Greensburg, PA, Dr. Kovacevic features three tooth replacement options for restoring your smile: removable or implant-supported dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. Explore our guide to learn the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment.
A removable denture is a complete arch of natural-looking prosthetic teeth encased in a gum-colored plastic mold. They sit on top of your gums and replace a full arch of missing teeth. Dr. Kovacevic also features partial dentures to replace one or more missing teeth and implant-supported overdentures that never have to be removed.
Today’s dentures are much more attractive and comfortable than they were in the past. They can also be acquired quickly and affordably for your convenience. Patients typically receive their dentures in just a few visits to our office over the course of a few weeks. Dentures are custom-fitted to your smile to ensure they feel secure and look natural.
Because they’re removable, dentures don’t provide your jawbone with the stimulation it needs to maintain density. In addition, you’ll have to take your dentures out and clean them regularly, a process that some patients find inconvenient. Dentures can also slip out of place, making it difficult to chew or speak at times, and they need to be replaced roughly every ten years.
A dental bridge is a prosthetic replacement for one or more adjacent missing teeth. The bridge is secured by attaching it to dental crowns at each end of the gap.
Because they don’t require surgery, dental bridges are a less invasive treatment than most. In addition, they’re highly affordable and can be provided even faster than dentures. A dental bridge allows you to eat, speak, and smile without fear of it falling out. If you happen to break your bridge, getting it fixed is a quick and painless procedure.
The primary drawback with dental bridges is that the two natural teeth that anchor the bridge have to be filed down in preparation, removing some of their protective enamel. Unfortunately, this process is irreversible and can increase your risk for tooth decay and infection.
Many patients also find their dental bridge difficult to keep clean and have to buy special tools for it. Another disadvantage is that your bridge will only last five to ten years before it needs replacing.
Dental implants are titanium-alloy posts topped with natural-looking porcelain teeth that are surgically attached to your jawbone, creating a stable bond.
The process of your implants fusing with your jawbone, known as osseointegration, protects your oral health in a way that no other restoration can. Because your jawbone is being stimulated, it won’t lose density. Implants also help preserve your facial structure, preventing your cheeks from sagging.
Implants look and feel just like natural teeth and they don’t require any special cleaning methods. Adding to your convenience, dental implants never need to be removed and can last a lifetime with proper care.
Unfortunately, dental implants are rarely covered by insurance and they’re more expensive in the short term than bridges or dentures. They also require surgery and a three to six month recovery period for your gums to heal before the crown is attached. If your jawbone or gums don’t have enough mass to support implants, the process could require supplemental procedures that add to your time and cost commitment.
Learn More From Dr. Kovacevic
No matter which restorative option you’re considering, we’ll ensure that your specific needs are met in the most effective and affordable way possible. The first step is to contact our office in Greensburg, PA and schedule a consultation.
During this visit, Dr. Kovacevic will listen to your goals and develop a treatment plan that works for you. Don’t let missing teeth inconvenience you any longer — let Dr. Kovacevic restore your smile today.