The effect of a missing tooth can have a huge impact on not only a person’s smile, but also on their overall health and well-being. For those who have recently lost a tooth or who have been meaning to replace a lost tooth for some time now, there are many solutions available to restore a smile to its original beauty. For immediate relief, schedule a tooth replacement consultation with a cosmetic dentist near you today. For those who would like to learn more about their available options, here are a few important things to keep in mind.
Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
It is important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible. While this may be a challenging decision at first, trust that there are many helpful options available to fit every need. Replacing a missing tooth goes far beyond cosmetic advantages. There are also many health implications that may be avoided when a lost tooth is replaced. Those who do not replace their missing teeth could suffer from any of the following:
- Difficulties chewing and eating food;
- Dental drift which occurs when adjacent teeth shift and fill in the gaps left by missing teeth;
- Changes in gum tissue;
- Reduced jawbone density;
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), due to unstable biting or eating behaviors. TMJ can become a very painful condition that results in many complications related to the jaws.
Options for Replacing Teeth
There are many options available for replacing one tooth or multiple teeth. Here are some of the top ways in which a credentialed cosmetic dentist in Clearwater can assist with the best treatment option:
- Replacing the Original Tooth – Sometimes the original tooth can be salvaged in the event of an accident where a tooth is knocked out. There are times when the dentist can reattach it at the root if the patient can make it to the dentist’s office within an hour of having lost the tooth. To preserve the original tooth, either carefully put it back in its socket and hold it in place, or place the tooth in a glass of milk to ensure the tooth’s root is preserved.
- Implants – An implant is a metal post, usually made of titanium, that is set inside the gum and attached to the jaw bone. It serves as the new root for a replacement tooth. Attached to this post is a connector upon which a crown, or the new tooth, is connected to the implant post. Implants can be used for a single tooth or they can be used when there are multiple teeth missing. Implants are very close in structure to natural teeth and once they are fully healed and can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life.
- Bridges – As a minimally invasive option, bridges which literally “bridge the gap” that a missing tooth has left behind can also replace missing teeth. Bridges are usually made of porcelain to match the tooth’s natural color but can also be made of other metals such as silver. Bridges are put into place by first preparing the two adjacent natural teeth to be fitted with crowns which will be used as support for the new bridged tooth. Next, the two new crowns (with the bridge in the middle) are permanently anchored and cemented into place.
- Dentures – Dentures may consist of partials (for only a few missing teeth) as well as full dentures (when all teeth are missing). For example, partials are helpful during the preparation phase of crown and bridge treatments while the patient is waiting to be fitted for their new bridge. Dentures are artificial teeth that have a plastic support and are attached to the gum line with special adhesive. They are used to fill in gaps when multiple teeth are missing. Traditional, full dentures work in the same manner, but they are typically used when someone has lost all of their teeth. Full dentures can provide full restoration of a person’s facial features and an ability to eat properly.
Schedule an Appointment
For those who have lost a tooth or have multiple teeth missing, making the decision to replace them is the first step towards the right direction. Local cosmetic dentistry professionals can provide expert tooth replacement solutions that fit every need, budget, and timeline. Fully restore the ability to speak, eat and smile. Contact a cosmetic dentist near you to learn more about all of the available options for missing tooth replacement.