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Missing Teeth

Missing teeth can occur for a variety of reasons. In today’s society adults who are between the ages of 20 and 64 usually average 3 or more teeth that are missing or severely decayed. In older adults the problem of missing teeth can be even greater.

Whether you lost your teeth due to excessive dental problems or they were knocked out due to trauma, it is very important to address this issue as soon as possible. Missing teeth can affect your daily life such as the ability to chew and speak with confidence. You may be self-conscience about using that beautiful smile. Even a missing molar, a tooth located in the back and very hard to see, can have an effect on your ability to chew food properly.

Issues that can occur with a tooth loss are not only aesthetic as we discussed above; although missing teeth can have a large impact on the way you feel due to the sometimes unattractive way it looks. The more important factor to consider is the damage it can do to the bone. The alveolar, a sac like bone, is all around your teeth and gives it its support. This bone supporting your teeth needs stimulation so it can maintain its density and shape. On a daily basis your teeth make small contacts with each other continually, this contact helps stimulate the bone, insuring that bone that surrounds your teeth is constantly rebuilding and remodeling itself.

It sounds a bit complicated, but with lack of stimulation the bone that supports your teeth loses height, width and volume. Generally, the width of the bone decreases by 25% in the first year after a lost tooth.

The advances in today’s dental procedures for replacing missing teeth have come a long way. Dr. Thompson can thoroughly go over each treatment available to you and find one that fits your needs and budget. If you are a candidate for any of the following procedures, it is important to consider strength, longevity, stability of these options along with price.

BRIDGES

To put in a fixed bridge, you need healthy and strong teeth in the area of the missing teeth to support the artificial one. Bridges are much easier to put in than implants and less cumbersome then dentures and generally have a life span of 10-12 years. Although they can last much longer with proper care and give the area where teeth are missing a natural look.

DENTURES

Dentures are removable appliances that replace missing teeth. They are often called false teeth and can be made to replace a single tooth, multiple or partial teeth, or full upper and lower replacement. Dentures are supported in the oral cavity by hard and soft tissues and remaining bone. There are many different types of dentures. Dr. Thompson and his staff have the experience to thoroughly go over this type of procedure so you will understand if it is right for you.

DENTAL IMPLANTS

Dental Implants are probably the most popular treatment for replacing missing teeth. They are long lasting and give your smile that natural look. Dental implant surgery is generally done under a local anesthetic. The procedure attaches the dental implant to the root part of the missing tooth. After this is done, a crown is attached. If you have a single implant, it takes a period of 2-4 months to allow it to fuse to the bone before the crown is attached. A dental implant should be performed by a skilled and experienced professional who has done this procedure many times. After completion of your implant, they should be cared for just like your natural teeth. The good news is they will never experience tooth decay or root canal problems.

Whichever missing tooth procedure you choose, Kierland Dental Center and its knowledgeable and friendly staff is there to make sure your dental visit is a pleasant one and that you completely understand each procedure and the cost involved.

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