WHY REPLACING MISSING TEETH IS IMPORTANT?

Every day we see patients that have missing teeth. Sometimes they have teeth that have been recently extracted. Other times they have been missing for years. There are various reasons for why the teeth are missing. But the answers about why to replace them are usually the same.

In the US, about 70% of the population is missing one or more teeth. Tooth loss can lead to reduced self confidence because of gaps in a person’s smile. Unfortunately, effects on physical appearance are not the only result.

Teeth can be lost or missing for several reasons such as; trauma, decay, periodontal disease, or even genetics. It is really important to replace missing teeth because when a tooth is missing there is no contact with the opposing arch.

This can cause opposing teeth to gradually extrude which leads to other problem, such as fractures, mobility, tooth loss, shifting in surrounding teeth, and gum problems.

There is more than one option available to patients for replacing missing teeth.

Replacement teeth should last for years, and the American Dental Association (ADA) stresses the importance of choosing a treatment that’s right for you. Common options are implants, fixed bridges, full dentures and removable partial dentures.

Also it is very important to choose a Prosthodontist.

In Madison Avenue Dentists, Dr. Stella Oh and Dr. Ash Estafan specializes in dealing with reconstructive dentistry. A prosthodontist is a specialist who is skilled in the replacement of missing teeth (and associated tissues) and the restoration of natural teeth.

DENTAL IMPLANTS

Implants have become a popular option to replace damaged or missing teeth. Providing a secure foundation for removable or permanent artificial teeth, dental implants can be used instead of bridges and dentures or as a support for a dental plate. They feel and look like your own teeth, and are typically the preferred option for replacing a single tooth, although they can also be used to replace several teeth.

A major advantage of implants is improvement in the bite function. While the biting pressure of conventional dentures is far less than that of natural teeth, the bite power of implant-retained dentures is as strong as that achieved by your original teeth.

A further benefit of implants is that they are practically indistinguishable from the surrounding natural teeth. Also, according to

As part of your jaw, implants are a permanent solution, unlike bridges and removable dentures, which may have to be swapped out over time. Many people find dentures inconvenient, but taking care of implant teeth is precisely the same as oral hygiene for natural teeth: you brush and floss them but you don’t have to apply fixative creams or soak them overnight. Implants don’t require adjustments to surrounding teeth, and they help to prevent healthy adjacent teeth from shifting.

FIXED BRIDGES

Comprising artificial teeth fused to a frame, a dental bridge can be used to replace several missing teeth. The bridge is supported by implants or teeth surrounding the gap, while the middle section replaces the lost tooth. Bridges can also be used on implants, usually when two or more teeth are missing.

If the bridge is to be anchored to adjacent teeth rather than implants, these teeth have to be reduced in size by grinding them down. Bridges made of metal and covered with porcelain can result in visible black metal lines at the rim of the bridge. This problem can be avoided with all-ceramic bridges.

FULL DENTURES

Complete dentures known as conventional dentures consist of an entire set of artificial lower and upper teeth, fitted several weeks after the teeth have been removed, and held in place by suction. Newly-fitted dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks, during which time speaking and eating might take a little practice. Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures can be positioned as soon as the teeth are taken out, as an interim measure during the healing period.

REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURES

Partial dentures to replace a limited number of teeth come in the form of replacement teeth attached to a plastic base supported by the gums and remaining teeth, and they can be taken out for cleaning. Partial dentures are more secure and comfortable than standard full dentures, and usually less costly than implants or bridges.

COSMETIC DENTURES

According to The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, the number of adults in the U.S. needing dentures is expected to rise from 33.6 million in 1991 to 37.9 million in 2020.

An experienced cosmetic dentist can ensure that your dentures look natural. While standard dentures are formed with a heat curing process, cosmetic dentures have a special acrylic base that prevents shrinkage.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, so whenever possible try to avoid loosing the tooth in the first place. The financial cost of saving a tooth with a crown or even a crown and a root canal is substantially less than the cost of an implant and crown or a bridge. Not to mention that by saving one tooth, you are also helping keep the surrounding ones healthy as well.

The loss of a tooth is not always preventable, such as in the case of trauma or when a tooth is congenitally missing. But no matter the cause, it is important to understand the effects of missing teeth so that you can take the necessary steps to prevent further problems. Your Apex dentist can answer questions you have about what treatment best fits your needs and your smile. And check back here when we explain more about each treatment in the upcoming weeks!

Don’t wait until you lose one! Protect your teeth by seeing your dentists regularly. Book an appointment with us and see what we can do for you! Call us Now!

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