Replacing Missing Teeth
What happens when we are missing teeth?
Your teeth affect your whole body. When they’re healthy, you’re healthier too. A missing tooth can affect your biting, speech, and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance they will wear out prematurely, and be damaged, or lost. As you lose teeth, eating will become more difficult resulting in a decline in your health. You may also experience headaches and/or jaw pain. Generally, when teeth are removed the bone will slowly deteriorate over time. This bone loss can affect surrounding teeth and facial structure.
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Why should I consider a dental implant?
Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss. The bone resorption will continue as years pass. The great news is that implants act just like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, health, and appearance. Dental implants are a permanent solution that could possibly last a lifetime. Other permanent replacement options may only last 5-15 years for relatively the same price. A dental bridge also requires grinding down adjacent teeth so when this replacement option needs replaced you will be losing 2 additional teeth as well. Dental implants will function as a natural tooth meaning there will be nothing to take in and out of your mouth and mimics natural chewing.
Removable replacement options can cause discomfort and embarrassment when shifting or when they need to be removed to eat or sleep. One dental implant can replace an individual tooth or 2+ implants can support multiple teeth. Dentures can also lock into place by connecting dental implants allowing for more freedom in day-to-day life.
A fixed bridge is a connected set of replacement teeth. For support, it is cemented into position on top of the teeth adjacent to the empty space. The protective outer layer of these teeth is usually removed or ground down prior to attaching the bridge.
A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”.
A less fragile option is a removable partial denture cast in metal and plastic. It is held in place by wire clips. A removable partial denture can be removed and reinserted when required by the patient.
The most common solution, for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws is complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape.
Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged. Unlike most bridges, implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.
I think I am a good candidate for a dental implant. Now what?
Every case is different based on a number of missing teeth, surrounding teeth, and jawbone structure. By scheduling a consultation, our surgeons can create a treatment plan that is catered to you. This may consist of one stage or multiple stages. Our offices offer many anesthetic options to offer you the highest level of comfort.
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Don’t settle for missing teeth! Dental implants are natural-looking replacement teeth that can renew your smile. Contact us today to learn more!