Missing Teeth – What Do I Do Now?

Missing Teeth – What Do I Do Now?

There are many reasons you may at some point find yourself missing a tooth or more than one tooth. You may have had an accident, gum disease or a very deep cavity that has caused the loss of a tooth. Not to worry, we are here to help you navigate tooth replacement options to come up with the best solution for you.

Dental Implants

Depending on a few factors, dental implants may be a very good choice to replace a missing tooth or multiple teeth. A dental implant consists of a screw that acts as a root, attached to a crown that looks and behaves very much like a natural tooth. To learn if you are a good candidate for a dental implant, we would look in depth at the healthy bone structure you have. If there is not enough dense bone, Dr Mikhail may be able to add bone in the form of a bone graft. It must also be determined that the dental implant can be placed safely and not affect the sinus in the upper jaw or the mandibular nerve in the lower jaw. This is usually determined by CBCT scan which is a 3D scan of your jaw. Most people report that the most uncomfortable part of having a dental implant is the extraction of the tooth being replaced. A dental implant can be an option that may take several months to complete. After the dental implant is placed, there is a recommended healing time of 6 months before placing the final implant crown. Of course, you will be provided with a temporary crown in the meantime!

Bridge

If you are missing just one tooth, and the adjacent teeth are healthy, you may be a good candidate for a bridge. A bridge is a fake tooth or pontic, attached to the two adjacent teeth by crowns. The cost associated with a bridge is slightly less than that of an implant, allowing many patients an affordable option in replacing a missing tooth, however, there are a few cons. You will be unable to floss around a bridge without having special tools to do so. It is extremely important to maintain great oral hygiene at home as well as in the office in order to keep the bridge free from food debris which may cause cavities on the teeth the pontic is attached to. Also, preparing the adjacent teeth for crowns involves removing possibly healthy tooth structure to attach the crowns and pontic to. If these teeth have previously not had restorative work, it is worth considering another alternative such as a dental implant in order to preserve as much healthy natural tooth structure as possible.

Dentures or Partial Dentures

In the case of multiple missing teeth, you may want to consider a denture or partial denture. Dentures may be very cost effective and can be very comfortable and natural looking. A full denture replaces all of the teeth in an arch while a partial denture replaces one or more missing teeth. A denture can fit into the mouth by itself or it could be more permanently fixed into the mouth with dental implants. For many of our denture patients, we are able to extract the teeth on the very same day and have a custom denture ready. Our patients may be able to leave the office with their new denture in place. We call this procedure Immediate Dentures.

As always, we would love to see you to assess and discuss your options to replace your missing teeth.  We would love to see you enjoy a confident, beautiful smile! Please give us a call at (705) 792-0079.