Tooth loss can be devastating to your oral health and self esteem, making it difficult to eat and causing you to feel self conscious about the appearance of your smile. Don't let tooth loss keep you from enjoying your favorite foods or sharing your smile. Restorative dentistry treatments are available to replace missing teeth and repair dental damage, restoring oral health and confidence. To find out which treatment for missing teeth is right for you, schedule a consultation with Charlotte, NC dentists John M. Pinnix and George A. Betancourt.
The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
Replacing missing teeth is important for restoring the smile's beauty but, more importantly, it's necessary to protect your oral health. Over time, tooth loss can cause alignment issues as a result of changing chewing habits to compensate for missing teeth. This can also lead to uneven dental wear. Additionally, long-term tooth loss can lead to a loss of jawbone density. When jawbone is lost, the remaining teeth will shift and the jawbone may also change shape, affecting the overall appearance of the face.
Treatments for Missing Teeth
There are a variety of options to treat tooth loss and restore dental function. Patients who are healthy enough for surgery may wish to consider dental implant treatment. For those who are not able to undergo surgery, or simply prefer non-surgical treatments, traditional dental bridges and traditional removable dentures are popular treatment options.
Dental implants offer the permanent and secure replacement of missing teeth. Dental implant treatment requires minor surgery. During treatment, a small, screw-like post is inserted through the gums and placed into the jawbone. The jawbone then heals around the implant, a process called osseointegration, and creates a permanent bond. Dental implants may be paired with different restorations to replace one or more missing teeth. These restorations include:
- Dental crowns for individual tooth replacement
- Implant-supported bridges for multiple tooth replacement
- Implant-supported dentures for replacement of a full arch of teeth
Those who are interested in non-surgical treatment to replace one or two missing teeth may benefit from traditional dental bridges. Traditional dental bridges are made of one or two artificial teeth sandwiched between two dental crowns. These dental crowns are bonded to the two nearest remaining teeth to replace the missing tooth or teeth.
In circumstances in which multiple teeth are missing, dental bridges may be paired with dental implants. Implant-supported bridges attach to two dental implants, or one dental implant and a remaining tooth, to replace multiple teeth with one restoration.
Traditional removable dentures are a common option for replacing full arches of teeth without surgery. Traditional removable dentures are custom-made from impressions taken of the gums, creating a snug fit. Traditional removable dentures help restore dental function and appearance.
Implant-supported dentures offer a great solution to those who wish to have more stability and improved dental function from their dentures. Using three to five dental implants, implant-supported dentures anchor within the mouth, allowing denture wearers to enjoy improved dental function.
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
For more information about treatments for missing teeth and to find out which treatment is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Drs. Pinnix and Betancourt.