Replacement Options for Missing Teeth
By J. Brent Gorrell on March 20, 2012
Missing teeth are a common problem for many of our patients. There are many causes of missing teeth, including injury, tooth decay, and gum disease. We don't want our patients to feel insecure when smiling and talking; unfortunately, that is often the case for those who are missing teeth. Even one missing tooth can affect the remaining teeth in the mouth. Shifting teeth, crowding, and bone loss can result from tooth loss. Because of tooth loss, you may now have spaces between your teeth that you didn’t have before, making it very important to replace missing teeth. Our Palo Alto cosmetic dentist, Dr. J. Brent Gorrell, utilizes a wide range of treatments for missing teeth.
We understand that, sometimes, having too many treatment options can be overwhelming. We are careful to go over the details of each tooth replacement procedure, and encourage our patients to ask any questions they may have during the treatment process.
Dental bridges are used to replace the gap left by one or more missing teeth. The replacement tooth is anchored by crowns on both sides. These anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, and the artificial teeth are called pontics. Removal of some of the tooth enamel is necessary in abutment teeth in order for the crowns to be placed. Dental bridges are fixed to the crown and cannot be removed without the assistance of a dentist. Natural-looking and long-lasting, dental bridges are a good option for our patients with good oral hygiene who are missing one or more of their natural teeth. Dental bridges can also be supported by dental implants.
Removable Partial Dentures
Removable partial dentures are replacement teeth connected to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, held together by a metal framework. Metal clasps or precision attachments are used to connect the removable partial denture to the surrounding teeth. With the use of precision attachments, the removable partial dentures are more aesthetically pleasing and blend in with surrounding teeth, becoming virtually undetectable. Unfortunately, removable partial dentures can feel clunky in the mouth and take time to get used to. Removable partial dentures are a good option for patients wanting a more cost-effective treatment for missing teeth. It is essential to maintain good oral hygiene habits and to pay close attention to the care of the teeth the removable partial dentures attach to.
For our patients in Palo Alto, dental implants may be the ideal treatment for replacing their missing teeth. Dental implants can be used to secure dentures, dental bridges, and crowns to provide stability and strength. Dental implants are titanium posts inserted into the jaw to replace the root structures of missing teeth. Once the jawbone has grown over the implants, usually six months later, dental bridges, dentures, or porcelain crowns are placed on top of the implants. One of the biggest advantages of dental implants is that titanium is not recognized by the body as a foreign substance, so there is no chance of rejection of the implants. Also, dental implants allow for the restorations to be attached below the gumline, making them the most realistic replacement for missing teeth in terms of both appearance and function.
Contact Cosmetic Dentist Dr. J. Brent Gorrell
To learn more about treatment options for missing teeth, please contact Dr. J. Brent Gorrell today.
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“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.