Replacing Missing Teeth by Philip Nauert, DDS

Sometimes a tooth is lost and the patient is faced with what to do to replace it.  All our teeth are important for chewing, speaking and looking our best when we smile.  Fortunately, there are several options to consider.  One option is the dental #implant.  An implant is much like a natural tooth because it is anchored in your jawbone then restored with a crown.  An implant is actually a metal post placed into the bone in your jaw and acts like the root of a tooth.  Then the dentist makes a replacement crown on the metal post.

Another alternative to replace missing teeth is a fixed bridge or #FPD.  An artificial tooth or teeth replace the lost natural ones.  Crowns, which are cemented on adjacent prepared natural teeth, serve as retainers that support the fixed bridge.  The fixed bridge can only be removed by your dentist.

The third option for replacing missing teeth is a removable bridge or #RPD.  It can be taken out of the mouth for cleaning.  They are made with replacement teeth attached to gum-colored plastic bases connected by a metal framework.  They attach to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments.  Although removable bridges are less expensive, fixed bridges, when indicated, may feel more stable and natural.

It is advisable to explore your options for replacing missing teeth with your dentist.  It is an important decision and will help you look better and improve the functioning of your teeth.  Give us a call or stop by for a consult if you or a loved one are needing replacement of a missing tooth. 

I'm missing a tooth... Now what?

There is no worse feeling than having a missing tooth.  The smile is a powerful and beautiful thing, and when a tooth is gone, the picture just isn't complete.  In the past, replacement options for lost teeth were limited and not always esthetic.  However, dental implants now offer many patients an ideal solution to replace what is missing.

Dental implants offer an alternative to conventional crowns, bridges and dentures. For some people, dental implants offer a smile that looks and feels very natural. Implants are surgically placed below the gums, fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement of teeth, bridges or a denture. Implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone. Candidates for dental implants must have good over-all health, healthy gums, and enough bone to support the implant. A thorough evaluation by your dentist will help determine if you are a good candidate for implants.

Replacing missing teeth with implants begins with a surgery to place the implant in the jaw bone.  Diagnostic x-rays are taken prior to implant placement to determine the appropriate length and diameter of the implant as well as to assess the quality of the bone.  After a healing period of 2-4 months, the implant can be restored with either an implant crown, an implant supported bridge, or an implant supported denture.  Our extensive implant dentistry training allows us, in the majority of cases, to place the implants surgically here at Contemporary Dental rather than having to refer our patients to another doctor.  Some cases necessitate a team approach with a specialist due to patient health or other complexities involved in the case.

Implant supported crowns and bridges have revolutionized dentistry.  They allow dentists to be more conservative and simply replace a failed or missing tooth rather than needlessly grind away healthy tooth structure.  In addition, implants look very natural and can help preserve bone in an area where a tooth is missing.  If you or someone you know has a missing tooth, an implant might be the perfect solution.  Call our office today at 713.668.9119 to schedule your consult.