Missing teeth can drastically change your appearance, affect your oral health, and decrease your quality of life. However, replacing them with dental implants can restore your confidence, boost your health, and improve your life. Dr. Rawal serves as a dental implant dentist at Florida Prosthodontics in Melbourne, Suntree, FL. Contact our office today to restore your smile.
Who would want their appearance and health to deteriorate? That’s the natural consequence of missing teeth – the jaw literally melts away. Generally, people will lose 25-50% of their supporting jaw bone structure within the first year after tooth loss. Dental implants are more easily placed when teeth are first extracted because bone replacement becomes more complex as time passes. The great news? Implants act just like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, oral health and appearance. Your dentist and the implant surgeon will provide you with options so that you can make the most informed decision concerning tooth replacement.
At Florida Prosthodontics in Melbourne, Suntree, FL, we have several options for replacing missing teeth. If you have a tooth that has been knocked out in an accident or was removed due to decay, we can perform a procedure to replace it so you can regain the full functionality and appearance of your smile. If you live in Melbourne, Suntree, FL or the 32955 area, we invite you to call (321) 441-4017 and schedule an appointment with our dental office. After examining you, Dr. Rawal will make a recommendation as to which procedure is likely to provide the best results for your appearance and lifestyle goals.
You can select from a number of different options to replace your missing teeth – from temporary to long-lasting solutions.
A good candidate is anyone missing one or more teeth, or who is unhappy with their dentures. Age is not a factor. However, smoking, diseases such as diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area, have been shown to lower the success rate of implant placement. X-rays of your jaw will be taken to evaluate whether they will accommodate implants. Detailed x-rays may also be required to determine if other tests or procedures are needed to place implants properly.
>> Fixed Bridge
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. If the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth site have never been restored or have small fillings, cutting them down to hold a bridge is an aggressive treatment that can detriment these teeth in the long run.
A bridge is created by securing a dental crown to the two teeth surrounding the missing one. These crowns serve as anchors to hold a gum-colored bridge in place that a new tooth is secured to. This is the most durable, non-surgical solution you can get to replace a missing tooth, because it is firmly attached. Many of our patients prefer this as an alternative to dentures, while being less invasive than implants.
A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”. Being removable, it is easy to lose and hard to impossible to wear when eating.
>> Metal Partial
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. Over time, the bone remodels where there are no teeth and implants and the dentures can loosen.
The most common solution, for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws are complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape. Again, the jaw will resorb over time without teeth or implants and the denture fit will worsen over time.
In some cases, dentures are an ideal way to replace missing teeth. While not as durable or sturdy as an implant or bridge, they do have their place. Dentures are an ideal immediate solution while waiting for another cosmetic procedure. Also, if you have suffered from resorption and do not have any strong, remaining teeth, they may be necessary. In this situation, modern dentistry has made it possible to wear a set of dentures that looks natural and is less likely to fall out of place.
>> Dental Implants
Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged. Unlike most bridges, implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.
Dental implants can also replace natural teeth. Implants are usually composed of two major parts: the implant, which acts as an anchor in the jaw; and the crown, which is the tooth part visible in the mouth. Implants are excellent options as they do not affect adjacent teeth, yet look, feel, and function just as natural teeth do. Please find out more information regarding dental implants. Tooth replacement with a dental implant.
Because missing teeth leave open spaces in your mouth, your teeth will shift over time, changing your bite for the worse. Teeth rely upon one another to remain in position. If a tooth is lost, it is the naturally tendency of the surrounding teeth to drift into that open space. This shifting of position negatively impacts your oral health in a number of ways. Replacing missing teeth as soon as possible is extremely important in order to prevent these complications.
There are several reasons: A dental bridge can sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge the space of the missing tooth/teeth. In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing and can be easily lost.
Advantages of Dental Implants
When looking at the advantages of dental implants, it is helpful to compare them against other the above options to replace missing teeth.
Compared with Partial Dentures
Many patients prefer implants over partial dentures as implants are fixed in place and are not removed nightly. Implants can also be more esthetic, as they do not have hooks or clasps that can be visible when smiling.
Compared with Conventional Bridges
In situations where the the natural teeth (abutments) are completely healthy, shaving or reducing them to prepare for a bridge “damages” them unnecessarily. Furthermore, should any of the natural teeth/abutments be lost for any reason (eg decay or gum disease), the entire bridge is usually lost as well. In contrast, implants do not affect the adjacent abutments; they are placed only in the positions where teeth are missing, and do not rely upon the adjacent teeth.
In addition, bridges can generally only be placed where there are natural teeth/abutments on either side of a space (except for limited-use “cantilever bridges”). In contrast, an implant can still be placed even in situations where an abutment is missing.
At Florida Prosthodontics in Melbourne, Suntree, FL, our goal is to provide you with a tooth replacement solution that is beautiful, natural-looking, and will work for your lifestyle. Age, while a factor in healthcare, has less to do with your ideal tooth replacement solution than what your lifestyle is like.
For example, you could be a senior and not want to wear dentures, even though they are common. Regardless of your age, if you lead an active lifestyle, dental implants could be the best solution simply because they are the sturdiest and will allow you to maintain all of your activities. One thing to be aware of, and this does not have to be age-related, is that when you lose a tooth, the process of resorption starts. This is when the body starts to leach calcium from your jawbone and distribute it to the rest of the body. The longer you wait to visit our Rockledge Dental Office and have the tooth replaced, the less bone density you will have. When you then go to replace the tooth, your options could be more limited. This makes losing a tooth an urgent matter to attend to.
We recommend that you call (321) 385-8943 and schedule an appointment with our dental office as soon as your tooth has either fallen or been knocked out. During your appointment, we will examine your gums, take x-rays, and make a recommendation as to which tooth replacement option will be best suited for your needs. Acting on this quickly will help in restoring your appearance and oral health.
To learn more about dental options for replacing missing teeth, call and schedule an appointment with our Melbourne, Suntree dentist office today.