3 Cosmetic Dentistry Options Following Irreversible Pulpitis

Irreversible pulpitis refers to damage to the tooth's pulp that can't be fixed, meaning the tooth is essentially dead. Pulpitis can develop due to untreated trauma or infection that impacts the pulp, which is a collection of blood cells and nerve cells inside the root canal. If the problem is caught early, a dentist (such as one from Alliance Family Dental) can reverse the damage and restore your tooth. If the pulp dies, you will have a different treatment route that starts with a tooth extraction and ends with a dental replacement option.  

Here are a few of the cosmetic dentistry replacement options following irreversible pulpitis.  

Dental Bridge

A dental bridge consists of two primary parts: a supportive dental crown or crowns and an artificial tooth to fill the gap. The dental crown is bonded to the healthy tooth or teeth on each side of the gap to provide support for the artificial tooth. This false tooth then essentially dangles in the middle and sits above the gums.

Advantages to a dental bridge include relative cheapness to other replacement options and the ability to replace more than one missing tooth in a row. Disadvantages include requiring healthy teeth on either side of the gap and a somewhat unnatural feel while chewing. The bridge also doesn't help stimulate the jawbone underneath, which is essential for keeping the bone alive and healthy. 

Dental Implant

A dental implant is the only single-tooth replacement option that is inserted directly into the jawbone. A metal root is first implanted into the bone and then allowed to heal and fuse to the bone. Your dentist will then affix a post to that root and then snaps an artificial tooth onto the post.

Advantages of a dental implant are the most natural feel while chewing and jawbone health stimulation. Disadvantages include cost, length of healing time and treatment, and the need for a healthy jawbone. If your jawbone is weak or eroded, you might still be a dental implant candidate if you undergo a bone graft first.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are a valid dental replacement option if you have a few missing teeth on either the top or bottom but those tooth gaps aren't in a row. The dentures feature a series of false teeth arranged on a plate that sits above the gums and hooks onto healthy teeth on each end via metal clasps. 

Disadvantages of partial dentures include a less natural feel while chewing and gum abrasions if the plate doesn't fit well. An alternative to a traditional denture plate is implant-supported dentures. Your dentist would insert metal roots like those used for dental implants and then snap the partial denture plate onto those roots for added support.