Losing a single tooth or multiple teeth can be an overwhelming experience. Whether it’s a result of trauma, poor oral health, or a planned dental extraction performed by your dentist, you may wonder what your options are for replacing the tooth. Fortunately, the Ascent Family Dental team has numerous options available to you. All of these tooth replacement solutions can provide you with a natural-looking prosthetic tooth while restoring your dental function. As a result, you will eat, chew, and smile exactly as you would with a natural tooth.
Who Will Replace My Teeth?
Prosthodontists are dental professionals who specialize in dental restoration and tooth replacement. These experts diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate clinical oral conditions, such as missing teeth, damaged teeth, or maxillofacial tissue problems.
Clinical Indications for a Prosthodontist
Prosthodontists aim to give you the most natural smile possible while repairing or replacing damaged or missing teeth with artificial materials. Advancements in dental materials allow them to closely mirror the function, look, feel, and shape of natural teeth.
You may have to see a prosthodontist if you require any of the following dental restoration solutions:
- Severe dental decay
- Damaged teeth (due to trauma or injury)
- Missing teeth (all or partial loss)
- Tooth discoloration
- Misaligned or uneven teeth
- Worn teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Tooth replacement following extraction
Natural-Looking Dental Solutions Offered by Prosthodontics
Dental professionals are experienced in a number of different oral treatments designed to help you regain your confident smile. A few of their areas of expertise include:
Full or Partial Dentures
Dentures are a very popular option to accommodate missing teeth. Patients missing all teeth find that full dentures are the best fit for their needs, while those missing some teeth elect for partial dentures. Both partial and full dentures can be set in place in a number of different ways: they may be removable, temporarily bonded, or attached to dental implants. Dentures can accommodate missing teeth in any mouth area, including the mandibular arch, maxillary arch, or both.
Implants are a durable option to address missing permanent teeth. They may be recommended as an alternative to complete or partial dentures or dental bridges in some cases. A dental implant features an artificial “tooth root” composed of metal, which adheres to the jaw. This offers patients the structure and durability to chew as they would with a natural tooth. The presence of an artificial root also prevents further bone loss (primarily associated with the jaw in that area) and helps avoid movement of surrounding teeth. The prosthetic tooth adhered to the implant post is not only natural in appearance but also comfortable.
Bridges are another method for addressing missing teeth. Our team uses dental bridges to span the gap where a missing tooth once was and ultimately fill the space with a prosthetic tooth. Dental bridges require support on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth; therefore, they typically adhere to strong, existing teeth. The bridge remains securely held in place. They can be used as a temporary option while allowing a dental implant to heal or as a permanent solution based on the patient. Although porcelain flatware has a reputation for being fragile, it is a very durable and natural-looking material which is why we elect to create our professional dental bridges in porcelain composite.
Consequences of Not Replacing Missing Teeth
Unfortunately, failing to replace missing teeth can have long-term consequences and is not an ideal option. If you choose not to replace a missing tooth or multiple teeth, the following can occur:
- Movement. Surrounding teeth will shift to fill in the gap. This can not only be uncomfortable but may cause alignment and bite problems. It will also change the aesthetics of your smile and make future orthodontic work challenging.
- Bone loss. Bone in the jaw where roots secure remains healthy through pressure from chewing and biting. Without a tooth root in the jawbone at the location of the missing tooth, you will inevitably experience bone loss in that area. The jawbone will deteriorate over time, leading to facial collapse and jowls. If you eventually decide to have a dental implant placed there, the bone may be too weak to accommodate a dental post. For this reason, we recommend implant-involved tooth replacement (either a traditional dental implant or implant-supported dentures) immediately following tooth loss.
Restore Your Smile with Natural Tooth Replacement Solutions
Together, you and Dr. Williams can select the best tooth replacement option for you. He’ll consider all factors, including your age, oral health condition, dental conformation, and preferences, before recommending the right fit for you. Should you have any questions regarding tooth placement options or any other dental solutions, please reach out to the Ascent Family Dental team today.