Replacing Missing Teeth
There is a direct relationship between your oral health and your general health and well-being. A missing tooth can affect your speech, bite and eating habits. In fact, the spaces that remain after a tooth is lost results in your reliance on the remaining teeth, increasing the incidence of premature wear, damage, or loss of the remaining dentition. Headaches and/or jaw pain can also result from tooth loss.
The natural consequence of missing teeth is the gradual deterioration of the bone in the jaw. Generally, patients can lose up to 25% of their supporting jaw within the first year after tooth loss. Dental implants are superior alternatives to missing teeth as they mimic the design of natural teeth. Implants safeguard and preserve bone height and structure, oral health, and appearance. Dr. Shroyer or Dr. Moore and your general dentist will provide you with options for restoring your smile.
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Tooth Replacement Options
A range of options–from temporary to permanent–are available to correct the problem of missing teeth. Implants are excellent solutions for patients missing one or more teeth. Detailed X-rays reveal the sufficiency of bone width and height for implant placement, as well as the need for additional tests or procedures for proper implant placement.
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 who have lost all of their teeth in one or both jaws is a denture. Upper or lower dentures depend on the patients’ existing bony ridge for placement. Oftentimes, denture pastes are necessary to hold these dentures in place. While some patients adapt well to dentures, many find them uncomfortable and a nuisance because of their inability to adhere to the patient’s jaw bone.
Dental implants provide a comfortable and permanent solution for patients with dentures. Implants form a strong foundation for crowns or over dentures. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures in place. No healthy teeth are cut down or damaged when dental implants are placed. Implants can last a lifetime, unlike the teeth that support bridges which often suffer decay or loss of bone height resulting in their need for extraction. Implant-supported replacement teeth provide a natural look that is stable and comfortable for the patient.
Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?
There are several reasons to choose dental implants for restorative needs. A dental bridge sacrifices the structure of surrounding teeth and bone in order to fill in the space left by missing teeth. In addition, removable partial or full dentures are often uncomfortable and can fail to provide a solid chewing surface.