A Bridge vs Dental Implants: What is the Difference?

After losing a tooth, or several teeth, you have several replacement options. Two of these options are fixed. Unlike dentures, partials and flippers, a fixed dental restoration remains in the mouth, indefinitely. The two standard fixed restoration options are dental implants and dental bridges. If you are considering a fixed restoration, knowing the differences between these two options can help you determine which one is best for you.

A Bridge vs Dental Implants: What is the Difference?

Both of these restoration options can look natural because each is created using custom-designed, porcelain-covered crowns. Nonetheless, there are several differences between these two restoration options.

How Each is Anchored

One of the key differences between these two options is the way they are anchored within the mouth.

Dental bridges are anchored by crowns placed over the natural teeth that sit adjacent to the gap. The existing gap is filled by a dental crown/crowns (i.e., pontic/pontics) that is attached to the bridge. One drawback to a bridge is the need to crown the anchor teeth because in order to apply a crown, the natural tooth must sustain some degree of damage.

Dental implants have a metal anchor, which essentially serves as the ‘root’ of the prosthesis. Just like natural teeth, dental implants are anchored into place by the jawbone. Furthermore, no other natural teeth need to be damaged to accomplish this restoration option.

Limitations on Resembling a Natural Tooth

Since a bridge essentially rests on the gum, there is a gap between the two. This gap can trap food and affect how natural the restoration looks. Another factor affecting the natural appearance of a dental bridge is the fact that the teeth are connected, which can be obvious.

A dental implant is attached to the jawbone; therefore, it sits flush, eliminating concerns related to a visible gap and food entrapment. That said, there are occasions when the metal anchor used for an implant appears as a dark spot beneath the gum.

Restoration Longevity

Both dental implants and dental bridges offer longevity, however, since a bridge is attached to natural teeth, as time passes, these teeth may decay. In addition, the jawbone adjacent to the replacement prosthesis is not stimulated, therefore, deterioration is likely, therefore, a bridge usually lasts from five to 15 years.

Dental implants do stimulate the jawbone, which prevents bone loss due to resorption. The anchors of dental implants are made of titanium, which is a metal that actually fuses with the jawbone. In addition, the abutment heads holding the visible crowns are designed to securely hold the prosthesis in place. Furthermore, since these abutment heads are metal, they will not decay, thus, dental implants can last a lifetime.

If you have a missing tooth/teeth that you would like to replace, contact our Sarasota, Florida, office today at 941-926-4888 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kenneth Schweizer. He is an experienced cosmetic, implant and restorative dentist dedicated to helping people improve their smiles.

 

Dental Care During Pregnancy | Big Questions Answered

Pregnancy affects your entire body, including your teeth. However, with so much excitement going on and preparation taking place, it is easy to allow your dental care to fall by the wayside. You may come across a few questions about your dental care while you are expecting. Find out what you need to know about taking care of your teeth during pregnancy.

Is it normal for your gums to bleed during pregnancy?

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can bring about a lot of undesirable changes, and one of those changes can be gums that are more tender and may bleed. If you see a little more pink on your toothbrush than usual when you are expecting, this is not something that should be alarming. However, if you are having a lot of pain and tenderness along with the extra blood, it is best to discuss your symptoms with your dentist.

Is routine dental treatment safe while you are pregnant?

Routine dental care is perfectly safe during pregnancy. According to AmericanPregnancy.org, the main concerns are doing x-rays and taking certain medications. For example, if you have to have a tooth extracted, the use of lidocaine may be necessary, which may cross the placenta and enter the baby’s bloodstream. While routine care like cleanings is fine, it is best to discuss the risks of any other treatments with your dentist and possibly create a plan of care for after the baby is born.

Can poor oral health affect your growing baby?

Poor oral health can possibly affect your growing baby. For example, if you have a severely decayed tooth, you may be at risk of developing an infection, which would put both you and your baby at risk. Emergency treatment is often necessary to prevent any of your oral health issues from being a concern for your child.

Reach Out to Us for Dental health care During Pregnancy

Your oral health is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, and there is no reason to neglect your smile while anticipating a new bundle of joy. If you have questions about dental care during pregnancy, reach out to us at the office of Keneth Schweizer DDS PA in Sarasota, FL for advice.

What is Tooth Bonding?

Tooth bonding is a very straightforward procedure where a tooth-colored resin is applied to areas of a damaged tooth and then hardened using a special light. It is one of the most affordable cosmetic dentistry procedures available. If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, chances are that you would benefit from tooth bonding.

What Conditions Can Tooth Bonding Treat?

Tooth bonding can help fix issues such as repairing chipped or cracked teeth, improving discolored teeth, closing gaps between teeth, making teeth seem longer, changing the shape of teeth, and even protecting roots that have been exposed by gum recession. Your dentist will be able to tell you if tooth bonding is an appropriate solution for your dental issues.

How Long Does Tooth Bonding Treatment Take?

Tooth bonding is one of the easiest procedures available to those looking to improve the appearance of their smile. It’s a treatment that can usually be done in one 30 to 60-minute visit. Further, if you get tooth bonding during a workweek, there’s no reason to think you can’t return to work immediately after your dentist visit.

How Tooth Bonding Works

First, your dentist will choose a resin color that closely matches your existing tooth color. Your dentist can mix up a custom shade that matches your teeth color exactly. Next, the dentist will make a certain area of the tooth rougher so it can receive an application of a conditioning liquid. This liquid is like a primer that helps the bonding resin adhere to your tooth better. The dentist will then apply the resin to the tooth, sculpt it to the right shape and then use a UV light or laser to harden the material. The hardening process only takes a short while. Once the resin is fully hardened the dentist will touch it up and polish it so it blends in well with the rest of the teeth.

How to Care For Tooth Bonding

The beauty of tooth bonding is that no special care is required once the treatment is completed. You can literally leave the dentist’s office and go out for lunch. As long as you continue brushing and flossing your teeth, that’s all that’s required to care for your tooth bonding.

If you have one or more teeth that are cracked or could use some cosmetic adjustment, speak to your dentist about tooth bonding. Chances are, you can benefit from this simple and straightforward dental treatment option.

 

FAQs About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are one of the greatest weapons against tooth decay. Yet, many people are unclear about what dental sealants are and what they can accomplish. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about dental sealants.

1. What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are comprised of a clear coating that is applied to the surface area of the teeth.

2. How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

Dental sealants can last between two and four years, with gradually decreasing protection as time goes on.

3. Does It Hurt to Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a non-invasive treatment. There is zero pain or discomfort involved in the application. In fact, some patients say that the treatment is so fast and pain-free that they didn’t even realize when it was over.

4. How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

Dental sealants are applied with a brush applicator. The dentist essentially “paints on” the dental sealant to each tooth.

5. Do Dental Sealants Discolor Teeth?

Some dental sealants dry clear. There is no visible sign that you have dental sealants on your teeth. You can also get white or slightly tinted dental sealants that brighten the appearance of the teeth. Even if you get tinted dental sealants, the appearance is completely natural and others will not know that you have dental sealants on your teeth.

6. Who Can Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are considered to be 100% safe and effective for people of all ages. Even children with baby teeth who have not yet gotten in their permanent teeth can get dental sealants. In fact, dental sealants are often recommended for children and teenagers specifically because of the amount of sugar they consume and the higher possibility for cavities.

7. Do Dental Sealants Change The Way Teeth Feel?

Dental sealants may make your teeth feel smoother. This is because dental sealants fill in pits and grooves in the teeth. This results in a smoother surface that can enhance the surface texture of the teeth.

8. Can Dental Sealants Be Reapplied?

Yes, you can have repeat treatments of dental sealants indefinitely, as long as your dentist recommends it.

For more information about dental sealants, and to find out if you are a good candidate for this preventative treatment, please consult with your dentist.

Are Dental Veneers Right For You?

Are Dental Veneers Right for You?

Dental veneers are an excellent choice for many patients, especially those who are considering improving how their teeth look. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or composite resin that are placed on top of tooth enamel, providing a natural appearance for your teeth.

The process of installing dental veneers is straightforward. First, the doctor removes enamel from the teeth. After your teeth are polished and cleaned, the dentist applies veneers over them. Then he or she cements the pieces in place.

It sounds simple enough, but dental veneers may not be for everybody. If you have questions about dental veneers, you should speak with your dentist as soon as possible. You may be a candidate for the dental procedure.

These are some ways you can determine if veneers might work for you.

You Have Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration is not always treated easily with over-the-counter whitening products. Veneers can provide you with a truly distinct look if you are tired of yellow or brown stains. The veneers are white and look perfectly natural in your mouth. The dentist can adjust the color of your teeth to ensure that they do not stand out.

Tooth discoloration is commonly associated with drinking staining beverages, which include wine, tea, coffee and soda. Consider scaling back on these drinks after you have veneers installed to prevent future staining.

You Have Worn-Down Teeth

Teeth tend to wear down with age and use, and this fact is especially true if you grind or clench your teeth a lot. This habit tends to wear down your teeth, and over time the results can be quite dramatic.

Not only do veneers restore the look of your teeth, but they also improve the function by giving your teeth more stability while you are eating. You have much more freedom regarding the foods that you choose to eat.

You Have Cracked or Broken Teeth

Veneers are great for covering cracks, chips and breaks often caused by sports-related injuries. Even if just a few teeth are chipped or cracked, your dentist can provide a partial veneer. This dental product gives your smile a look of continuity and symmetry.

You Have Crowded or Spaced-Out Teeth

Whether your teeth are too close together or too far apart, veneers may be a great help. The goal of your dentist will be to help you achieve a straight smile in which all your teeth are spaced out evenly so that you are proud of your smile.

You Are Unhappy With Your Smile

Ultimately, any time you are not happy with the look and feel of your teeth, you should talk to your dentist. For example, if you don’t like the shape of your teeth, veneers can help you get the smile you want. But whether or not veneers are an option, cosmetic dentists can help you find a solution that meets your needs.

You Are Committed to Good Oral Hygiene

In order for your dentist to agree to install veneers, he or she must trust that you are dedicated to good oral hygiene. A dentist may not want to install veneers if you do not have a strong dental hygiene regimen. Veneers may not be your real teeth, but they still require regular maintenance.

Discuss your goals for the future of your teeth and what you hope to achieve with your dentist to see what may be in store for your smile. Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA offers a wide range of dental services that make your teeth look and feel great. We offer restorative and cosmetic work, all provided with a gentle touch. Call today to book your appointment.

Dentures Or Dental Implants? The Right Tooth Replacement Options For You

Adult tooth loss can be frustrating, inconvenient, and even embarrassing. However, if you have missing teeth, you are not alone. The American College of Prosthodontists reports that 178 million adults in the United States have at least one missing tooth, while an estimated 40 million have lost all their teeth.

Luckily, modern dental technologies allow dentists to offer you multiple options for tooth replacement so you can pick the right technique for your smile. In this blog, we compare characteristics of dentures and dental implants to give you a better idea of which solution you may prefer.

Appearance

Some patients assume that dental implants offer a better-looking smile, but this idea doesn’t always hold true. While dental implants can appear almost identical to the color and shape of your other teeth, modern dentures look more natural than ever before. Additionally, dentures do more to reduce the “collapsed” look of the cheek and chin found in some patients with many missing teeth than dental implants do.

Both options can fill the gap of a missing tooth and offer an aesthetically pleasing replacement.

Compatibility

Often, the choice between dentures and dental implants comes down to the health of your jaw bone and oral tissues. Dentures can accommodate a much wider range of oral health symptoms and can even help conceal some of the issues that might disqualify a patient from receiving dental implants.

In order to be a candidate for dental implants, you must have adequate jaw bone density for each implant to anchor to. You must also exhibit good general health because the implant process can take a significant amount of time and may expose individuals with weak immune systems to a high risk of infection.

Dentures, on the other hand, require healthy gum tissues but do not necessarily need jaw bone strength to be fitted and worn comfortably.

Cost

When you invest in tooth replacement, you’re safeguarding your ability to smile, eat, and speak normally. Any tooth replacement option comes at a cost. The primary difference between the cost of dentures and dental implants is that more insurance companies are willing to cover most or all of the cost of dentures.

While some insurance companies will cover a portion of the cost for dental implants, many do not cover any of the expense. Because of this difference in coverage, dentures are often a more cost-effective option for patients with extensive tooth loss and implants may be more affordable for individuals with only one or two missing teeth.

Durability

When it comes to durability, dental implants last longer. With proper care, high-quality implants can last for the rest of your life. Even if the visible crown portion of the implant becomes damaged, it’s unlikely that your dentist will ever need to do work on the anchor portion of the implant.

Dentures generally last between five and eight years. Often, dentures need replacement, not because of the damage the appliance sustains, but rather due to changes in the shape and health of the patient’s oral tissues.

Functionality

Typically, dental implants provide a more secure eating surface than dentures do. Because implants are placed permanently, they shift less often and less dramatically than dentures can.

However, patients with high-quality dentures can use them for most of the activities that they would use natural teeth for. Patients may need to try multiple adhesives or have the fit of their dentures adjusted to improve functionality while they wear dentures.

In both cases, patients should be wary of particularly hard or sticky foods. These foods could damage the surface of the false teeth or encourage tooth decay in the patient’s remaining natural teeth.

Scalability

As discussed in the cost section, dentures are often preferred for patients with many missing teeth and dental implants for individuals who are only missing a few. However, both tooth replacement options can be used to replace any number of missing teeth.

If you prefer dentures but only have one or two gaps, you’ll be fitted with a partial denture. Partial dentures consist of high-quality false teeth attached to a base that fits over the roof or floor of the mouth. Partial dentures are similar to retainers used by orthodontists to keep teeth aligned after treatment with braces.

If you prefer dental implants and have a large amount of tooth loss, the initial process may take longer, but the final result is essentially the same as placing a single dental implant.

As you consider your tooth replacement options, consult with your dentist. While you can identify some factors in this decision, you’ll need an oral health care professional’s insight to determine whether you’re a good candidate for your chosen tooth replacement option.

Schedule an appointment at the practice of Dr. Kenneth Schweizer today to talk about how dentures or dental implants could restore your smile.