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Replacement Options for Missing Teeth

drednarcisi Nov 30, 2011

Some dental problems are relatively easy to address. Dental caries, for example, can be easily filled. Gum disease in its earliest stages can also be addressed with relatively little incident. Tooth loss, however, can be a much more serious dental issue to deal with. In fact, the loss of even just one tooth can have major effects on your appearance as well as your dental health. If you have lost a tooth or multiple teeth, it’s important that you meet with a Pittsburgh cosmetic dentist right away.

Causes of Tooth Loss

There are many different potential causes of tooth loss. One common cause is injury or trauma. A hard impact to the mouth can lead to a tooth being knocked out. Your dentist will try his or her best to restore the original tooth to the mouth, but sometimes that cannot work. Similarly, if a tooth is severely cracked or chipped, it may need to be removed rather than restored for the good of the patient.

Severe tooth decay can also lead to tooth loss. As injury, your dentist will try to restore the tooth itself or at least maintain as much existing tooth structure as possible. This is not always a feasible option, particularly for extremely decayed teeth.

Dangers of Tooth Loss

There are many general dentistry and aesthetic problems linked to tooth loss. Beyond the aesthetics, losing one tooth can actually affect all of your other teeth. If there is a tooth gap, your other teeth may begin to shift out of place. Additionally, without a tooth to support, it is not uncommon for the gums to recede and the jawbone to lose density in the area of the tooth gap. This can lead to many dental problems for the remaining teeth.

Thankfully, there are numerous options to consider for tooth replacement. Let’s look at these right now.

Dental Bridges

One option that can replace a single tooth or a few teeth is a dental bridge. A dental bridge literally bridges the gap between teeth. The dental bridge is held in place using brackets that clasp around your surrounding natural teeth that remain. This is a fine cosmetic dentistry treatment.

Dentures

Sometimes a patient is missing too many teeth for a dental bridge to be a realistic option. In these cases, the best treatment to consider is a denture. Dentures are more substantial dental restorations that are held in place using a patient’s remaining gum structure. The hold on dentures can be improved with the use of denture creams and dental adhesives.

Dental Implants

One of the best options in Pittsburgh restorative dentistry for missing teeth is implant dentistry. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are anchored into a patient’s existing jawbone structure and soft tissues. This will require oral surgery and a months-long recovery time, but the results are astonishing. The implants are just as strong as natural tooth roots and can secure dentures, a dental bridges, or even a single dental crown.

Contact Our Dental Care Practice for More Information

Be sure to contact our practice today to learn more about our many options for general and cosmetic services as well as orthodontic care.

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