Other Tooth Replacement Options

Why choose
Dr Gabriel J. Rich III, DDS?
  • DDS, Georgetown University School of Dentistry
  • Fellow, Academy of General Dentistry
  • Honorary Fellow, American College of Dentists
  • Honorary Fellow, Academy of Dentistry International
  • Associate Fellow, American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • Member, American Dental Association
  • Team Dentist, Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Club, 1997-2018.
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Crown & Bridge

Rather than implant a portion of the replacement tooth into the jaw, a fixed bridge can be held by the teeth on both sides of the area of missing teeth. A bridge is generally attached to teeth on each side of the gap after they are prepared for crowns. A replacement tooth or several teeth joined together are attached to fill in the gap. This "bridge" is then affixed to the crowns of the adjoining teeth, restoring appearance and chewing ability. Our doctors use materials that provide the best longevity and a highly natural look and feel.

In some instances, the two teeth on each side of the gap are not used as anchors for a bridge. Instead, the replacement tooth is held by adjacent teeth on both sides with the help of metal brackets on the back. Because the brackets are attached to the back sides of natural teeth, they are typically not visible. Dr. Rich will discuss the options that are best for your individual needs.

Partial Dentures

Partial denture can be used to fill spaces between natural teeth, helping to maintain chewing ability and prevent shifting of teeth that occurs without adjacent teeth. Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to gum-colored bases, which are connected by metal framework. Removable partial dentures attach to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments. Precision attachments, generally more esthetic than metal clasps, are nearly invisible.

When a missing tooth or teeth have existing natural teeth on each side, a Precision Fitted Partial is another option Dr. Rich offers. The Precision Fitted Partial uses the adjacent teeth as anchors to secure the replacement tooth or teeth. Similar to the Crown-&-Bridge method, this gives a non-removable tooth replacement that restores stability and comfort.

Full Dentures

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and gum tissues that have resorbed. While a partial denture replaces missing teeth in mouths that have remaining natural teeth, a complete (or "full") denture replaces all the teeth. Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their upper and lower teeth. Some patients only need to replace a "full arch" or teeth, which are all teeth on the top or bottom.

New denture wearers need time to get accustomed to their new "teeth" because even the best fitting dentures will feel awkward at first. While most patients can begin to speak normally within a few hours, many have discomfort with eating for several days to a few weeks. To get accustomed to chewing with a new denture, Dr. Rich advises patients to start with soft, easy-to-chew foods. Some denture wearers notice a slight change in facial appearance, increased salivary flow or minor speech difficulty.

"I was looking for fairly extensive cosmetic work (crowns and orthodontics). Dr. Rich was recommended by a co-worker. Although clearly a busy dentist, Dr. Rich spent a great deal of time going over various options for the things that bothered me about my smile. We worked together to come up with a treatment plan. I felt very much a part of the planning process. I had many questions along the way, and Dr. Rich always found time to discuss my concerns and was always forthright. When it came time for the actual treatment, there were never any surprises. Everything was clearly explained so I knew what to expect. My comfort was always considered. His technique in administering Novocaine minimized my discomfort.

All in all, I spent a lot of time in Dr. Rich's chair and couldn't be more pleased with the results. The biggest surprise was how natural my crowns look. Six months later, I'm still surprised when I see my white, bright teeth in pictures. I used to try and hide my teeth in pictures, not anymore! I would recommend Dr. Rich without hesitation."