Posts for tag: Missing Teeth
Your front teeth are the stars of your smile — so it makes perfect sense to replace them if they’re missing. But is it really necessary to replace a largely unseen back tooth with an implant or bridgework?
The answer is an unequivocal yes. Your individual teeth are an interactive part of a dynamic mechanism that enables you to eat, speak and smile. They’re highly adaptable and can move incrementally to accommodate mouth changes — especially when one of them is lost.
Back teeth not only help us chew food efficiently, they also ease some of the pressure from front teeth as we chew. Our efficiency while chewing suffers when they’re missing; other teeth will wear faster and tend to move out of position, “drifting” into the space left by the missing tooth. And without their stimulation during chewing, new bone may grow at a slower rate to replace older bone, reducing bone volume over time.
So, whether visible or not, replacing a back tooth is the best course to take to prevent these adverse consequences. Your two best options are fixed bridgework or dental implants, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Bridgework has been the traditional method for replacing one or a few missing teeth: they’re long-lasting if cared for properly, have a life-like appearance that blends well with other teeth and are a good option when implants aren’t. But they require extensive altering of the anchor teeth (those used on either side of the bridge to secure it) and they’re highly prone for trapping food between them and the gums, increasing the risk of disease.
Dental implants are easily maintained and their installation doesn’t affect adjacent teeth as with a bridge. They’re also durable with a 95% success rate after ten years. On the other hand, the installation process can take several months and visits, and they require a certain amount of bone mass for proper placement and so aren’t ideal for certain patients.
Regardless of its location, if you have a missing tooth or one that may need to be removed, you should visit us for a complete examination. From there we can tell you how your mouth has been impacted by the missing tooth and which replacement option is best for you.
If you would like more information on tooth replacement options, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Replacing Back Teeth.”
If you are suffering from any degree of tooth loss, chances are that your oral health and quality of life have been affected in some way as a result. Maybe you've had to give up smiling for pictures or eating the foods you love. If you are missing several or all of your natural teeth, your oral and general health is also at risk. Luckily, Dr. Charles Sours, your dentist in Woodbridge, VA, offers general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry services for full or partial tooth loss.
Dental Implants in Woodbridge, VA
Implants are designed to replace the entire structure of a missing tooth, unlike other restorations which just replace the cosmetic crown. There are a number of benefits to replacing the tooth's root with an implant. Not only does it help to secure the crown in place, making for a more permanent restoration, but it also prevents bone loss in the gums. When a tooth falls out or gets extracted, the bone tissue starts to erode, which increases the risk of complications like infections and gum (periodontal) disease, putting your oral and general health at risk.
How Dental Implants Work
First, the dentist will perform an oral exam to determine if you are a good candidate for implants. Healthy adults with enough bone density in the gums to support the implant are usually good candidates. The implant, which consists of a small titanium screw, is surgically implanted in the socket of missing teeth and fuses with the existing bone tissue. Once it has healed, the cosmetic crown is attached. Implants can be used to replace individual teeth or to support an entire set of dentures on the upper or lower jaw.
Find a Dentist in Woodbridge, VA
To learn more about dental implants and how they can improve your quality of life and oral health, contact our office today by calling (703) 491-2131. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Sours and set your smile on the right track!