Tooth loss doesn’t have to stop your smile from saying great things about you. Cosmetic dentistry has many tooth-replacement options that allow you to recapture your youthful appearance and restore the function of your teeth. Replacement of missing teeth will help prevent additional problems that can develop when teeth move or tip to fill in the space left by the missing tooth.
Dental implants may offer a practical solution to tooth lossDental implants provide a look and feel that’s very close to natural teeth. Implants are metal posts or frames surgically placed beneath your gums. After placement, the implants fuse to the bone of your jaw and act as artificial tooth roots. Replacement teeth are to the implant.
The implant remains below your gums and the bone grows to hold the implant securely in place. This allows the implant to function much like the root of your tooth, providing a stable structure that will eventually become the base structure for a new crown (replacement tooth). Your dentist will usually wait several weeks before proceeding with a crown in order to be sure the implant is ready to support a new crown. Your dentist may provide you with a temporary appliance to wear during this process.
Because the implant fuses to the bone in your jaw, the new tooth is stable – it won’t shift in your mouth like a removable bridge or denture. Since bone holds the implant in place, you have a natural looking tooth that will function much like your original tooth. Implants are made of metal, commonly titanium because it’s proven to be compatible with bone and other tissues. Replacement teeth are made of porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal.
Not everyone is candidate for implants – the gum tissue and bone must be in optimum health for the process to be successful. Ask your dentist for an assessment to determine the best course of action for you.
Permanent bridges offer an additional option for tooth replacementIf you have lost a tooth, your dentist may recommend a permanent bridge to replace it. Today’s bridges provide the look and function of natural teeth.
Bridges work best when there’s a single missing tooth surrounded by healthy teeth. Teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared for a crown. The dentist will take an impression of the teeth to create your new bridge. Crowns are designed to cover the two teeth that have been prepared by the dentist. A third crown is designed to fill in the space vacated by the missing tooth – this crown is permanently attached to the crowns on either side forming a bridge over the space where the tooth was lost.
The bridge is designed in laboratory to fit your bite and match the color of the surrounding teeth. Your smile will look like you’ve never had a cavity or a missing tooth! Your dentist will adjust the color of the porcelain crowns to match surrounding teeth, giving you a natural-looking smile. The result is a beautiful replacement tooth that increases the youthful quality of your smile!
Your dentist will recommend your best optionA cosmetic dentist is your best resource for aesthetic dental information. If you’re considering options to replace missing teeth, discuss your goals with your dentist to arrive at the best solution for you.
Don’t go through life reminiscing about your youthful smile, cosmetic dentistry will help you recreate the smile that you had – or wished you had! Ask about your options today!