Options for Missing Teeth in Grand Rapids
State-of-the-art teeth replacement
Having missing teeth is more than just a cosmetic problem. Missing teeth can cause structural problems as well. Remaining teeth shift crookedly toward the gap left by a missing tooth, leading to bite misalignment. Bone recedes and loses density and strength. Food gets trapped in the spaces and promotes gum disease.
We have several solutions for replacing missing teeth, each one affected by factors such as your current state of oral health and your budget.
Up until the last decade the main methods of replacing missing teeth were dental bridges for one to two missing teeth and a series of bridges or a partial denture for multiple missing teeth. But dental bridges have drawbacks, such as the fact that healthy teeth need to be ground down in order to anchor the bridge. And a partial denture doesn’t have the strength needed to chew many foods.
With dental implants we can provide you with strong and natural looking and functioning new teeth, from a single tooth to a full set of teeth.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a high-tech, bio-friendly titanium tooth “root” that is inserted into the jaw and used to support a crown, bridge or denture.
Because the implant integrates with the bone, it acts like a natural tooth and restores chewing power, enabling you to eat many foods you wouldn’t be able to with some other tooth replacement options. Dental implant technology is used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or all of them. We love doing them and we’ve been providing them for over 20 years.
To replace a single tooth, we believe a dental implant is the technology of choice. This is especially true when the adjacent teeth are still healthy and the jaw bone is thick and strong enough to support the implant. An implant doesn’t require the cutting down of healthy adjacent teeth as with a dental bridge, and it can last a lifetime.
In cases where the adjacent teeth are decayed or damaged and need to be crowned anyway, a dental bridge may be right for you. This can also be a more economical option in the short term.
When multiple teeth are missing, we still prefer to use dental implant technology whenever possible. Drs. VanderLugt and Mulder can provide individual implants or make an implant-supported bridge, using the appropriate number of implants.
We work within your budget to give you the highest quality work without ever pushing you into a procedure that is too far beyond your resources. For some, one or more dental bridges or a removable partial denture may be more fitting. An implant-supported dental bridge could be the perfect combination of procedures for you.
We offer removable partial dentures that are all acrylic and flexible, as well as those with a metal framework.
Replacing all your teeth
Upper missing teeth denture
When it appears that dentures are the answer but there are still teeth in the bottom arch, we usually find that it’s advantageous to utilize the remaining bottom teeth and supplant them with a partial denture or some implants, and restore the upper arch with a denture. We look at all possibilities and combinations and don’t rush you through this decision.
An implant-supported denture is the modern denture because it’s one that is stable and doesn’t slip when you eat or speak. It requires no adhesive and you can eat what you want. We typically use 5 conventionally sized (not “mini”) implants per arch to support the dentures.
An implant-supported bridge is a one-piece set of restorations that fit over implants. It can also be done in more than one piece.
We use meticulous diagnostic evaluation when we plan your implant-supported dentures or bridges. A high-tech 3D cone beam scanner shows your bone structure and where the implants must be placed for maximum stability. Any need for bone grafting is assessed. As with most of our procedures, there are options. We consult with you and answer your questions.
We make a well-fitting custom denture that looks attractive and provides a premium chewing base. Our process is careful and top-notch. We use wax models for esthetics and fit. We make sure your bite is adjusted properly, the vertical dimension is correct and lip support is perfected.
As with other restorations, we provide immediate temporaries that keep you looking good while your permanent restorations are being perfected by our lab. We also do relines and repairs of your existing dentures.
Complimentary Dental Implant Consultation
If you have one or more missing teeth, come visit with us. We will listen to your concerns and answer all your questions about teeth replacement options for you. The free visit includes:
- Consultation with the doctor
- Learn about the benefits of implants
- Review your treatment options
- Find out if you are a candidate for dental implants
- Get your questions answered
To make an appointment, call 616.455.8400 or click here to request an appointment online.