If you have a missing tooth or teeth, you have options. Our Wyoming, MI cosmetic dentist has years of experience in transforming smiles with restorative dentistry.
Missing teeth can cause you to feel self-conscious, but more than that, it can change the appearance and functionality of your teeth.
If you’re looking into tooth replacement options, here are 3 different procedures that can help replace a missing tooth.
Dental Implant Surgery
A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth root (typically made of titanium) used to anchor a crown. Many of our patients appreciate dental implants because they look and function like natural teeth. A tooth implant fuses with your jawbone over time so it won’t slip like dentures. can last a lifetime if given proper care.
Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants stimulate jawbone tissue so it doesn’t disintegrate over time. Jawbone deterioration is a serious issue because it affects your oral health and the shape of your face. Dental implants also help hold adjacent teeth in place so they don’t loosen and eventually fall out.
To be a candidate for the dental implant procedure, you must have healthy gum and jawbone tissue. However, if you don’t have sufficient jawbone tissue, our tooth replacement dentist may recommend a bone graft. While dental implant surgery is more invasive than other tooth replacement options, it’s also more long lasting.
Like the name suggests, a dental bridge “bridges” the gap in your smile left by a missing tooth. A dental bridge is comprised of a false tooth anchored on both sides by crowns. If you’re only missing one tooth and the surrounding teeth are healthy and in good condition, this might be an option for you.
Our dentist may recommend a dental bridge if you don’t want to wait months for a dental implant to fuse to your jawbone. A dental bridge can be made in two appointments—one if we use CEREC. The main drawback of a dental bridge is that the surrounding teeth need to be filed down so that the new crowns will fit over them, which compromises the structural integrity of otherwise healthy teeth.
Full or Partial Dentures
Whether you’ve lost one or more teeth, you may want to ask about getting full or partial dentures. Dentures are removable false teeth that help you eat and speak normally after major tooth loss. While dentures slip occasionally when you sneeze or cough, this can be easily corrected by biting down gently and swallowing. If you notice your slipping more often, don’t hesitate to call our office to see about getting your dentures refitted.
While wearing dentures, it’s important you continue taking care of your oral health. We recommend brushing your gums to avoid plaque buildup in empty sockets. Otherwise bleeding gums could make it painful to wear your denture teeth. You’ll also need to keep your dentures submerged in water or cleanser any time they’re not in your mouth to avoid cracking and warping.
Which Option is Right for Me?
If you aren’t sure what tooth replacement options are right for you, schedule a consultation with our dentist as soon as possible. The sooner we’re able to address oral health issues like missing teeth, the sooner we’ll be able to prevent further tooth loss, jawbone deterioration, and facial collapse.
Want to Learn More?
There are many options for replacing lost teeth. At River Ridge Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, our Wyoming, MI cosmetic dentist can help you decide which restorative dentistry procedure is right for you. Give us a call at (616) 538-7320 to request an appointment today.
[This blog post has been updated.]