Dentistry has come a long way since its humble and sometimes terrifying beginnings. Today, there’s a host of dental procedures which address various ailments and maladies of the gums, teeth and mouth. This is also a cause for confusion as many do not know how to differentiate between what is out there. Not knowing the difference means not being able to figure out what you need!
Making it Simple
We’re going to address this unfamiliarity and walk you through three very common and popular dental procedures. We’re going to get into what they mean as well as what they entail and when they might be a good idea to get.
Here they are!
The prime purpose of a dental bridge is to take the place of a missing tooth or teeth. The name bridge comes from the fact that the false teeth or ‘bridge’, is supported by real teeth on either side of it. In other words, it literally bridges the gap between them!
How Do They Work?
Firstly, dental bridges are synthetically made and require one solid tooth on either side in order to hold them in place. They serve to allow the wearer more flexibility when it comes to eating and improve one’s look aesthetically (fixes your smile). They also prevent the shifting and displacement of the remaining teeth that often happens when teeth are missing. Last but not least, it protects the teeth that remain from strain and decay!
When Do I Get One?
If all your teeth are perfect but one or two, dental bridges would be the ideal solution.
Crowns only fit over a single tooth. Like bridges, crowns are also made of a variety of materials including ceramic, stainless steel and gold to name a few. A crown helps to cover and protect a tooth that has suffered erosion or damage. It also returns tooth functionality.
How do they work?
Crowns work by protecting the damaged part of the tooth and preventing further damage. They help with mastication (chewing) as damaged teeth tend to sting when pressure is applied to them. Dental cement is used to hold crowns in place for extended periods of time.
When do I get one?
Crowns are ideal if you have a mildly damaged tooth that you need to have fixed.
This probably the most reliable (yet also painful) tooth replacement option. Implants are synthetically modeled teeth that are fit right into the jawbone in replacement of those that are missing.
How do they work?
Implants do just that. They are implanted to replace your teeth. The bottom part of the implant is often metal and fused with the jaw bone below. The upper part or tooth is what people see. These are made as the same synthetic materials as bridges and crowns. Unlike dentures however, implants do not slip out, nor do they need to be removed while eating.
When do I get them?
Implants are a great idea if you’re missing all or most of your teeth. These are also often a good way to go if your teeth are too damaged to support a crown or bridge.
Coverage and Cost
Though personally we all treasure our smiles and ability to eat, many insurance companies and employer-provided medical covers do not consider dental care as essential. Further, dental care in the US can be painfully expensive!
There is always the option of seeking quality dental care abroad. Dental care in Mexico is affordable and as reliable as anywhere in the U.S. A number other treatments such as cosmetics, fertility and bariatric surgery in Mexico are also quite popular among those visiting for health care purposes.