Can My Dentist Replace Missing Teeth?
If you have suffered tooth loss or have been told that existing dental problems have made tooth loss inevitable, your missing teeth can certainly be replaced. Your dentist will definitely play a role in your dental restoration, but in most cases, will work with other dental specialists along the way. Here we’ll go over the options available for the replacement of missing teeth in Clarksville, TN, as well what your regular dentist will typically do for you during the restoration process and what may be referred to other dental professionals.
Tooth Replacement Option: Fixed Dental Bridges
If you choose a fixed bridge to replace your missing teeth, your dentist will do the dental work involved in the process, while the dental appliance will be fabricated, or made, in a lab. To fit the bridge, your dentist will resize the natural teeth on either side of the space left by missing teeth– removing some of the enamel – in order to fit them with crowns, which will be bonded in place to support the false tooth or teeth fixed between those crowns. Once it is in place, your dentist will need to check your bridge regularly for stability and fit, and periodic replacement will be necessary – generally every 7 to 10 years.
Tooth Replacement Option: Partial Or Full Dentures
Dentures, whether partial or full, are another option that is primarily handled by your regular dentist. However, in cases, you may be referred to an oral surgeon to prepare the bony ridge or gum tissue for denture fitting. The dentures themselves will be fabricated by a lab, then sent to your dentist for fitting. Both full and partial dentures will need to be monitored to ensure that they continue to fit and function properly, and will need to be relined or replaced every 3 to 5 years.
Tooth Replacement Option: Dental Implant Restorations
Dental restorations done on a foundation of dental implants are a bit more complex than those other options. Your dentist will collaborate with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to devise your treatment plan, which will include the surgical placement of dental implants into your jaw – one to replace a single missing tooth with a crown, two or more to hold a permanent, implant supported bridge, or anywhere from 4 to 8 to hold a full arch of replacement teeth in cases of total tooth loss. After your dental implants have healed and bonded with the jawbone, your replacement tooth or teeth will be fabricated in a lab and fitted onto your implants – a task typically done by your dentist. The good news is that dental implant restorations, although they are more complex, last a lot longer than other options – with the average implant lasting 25 years – so with good oral hygiene, you won’t need to repeat the process any time soon. Additionally, they offer better support of overall oral health and function than other options can, so there definitely is a great pay-off for that more complex restoration process.
So yes, your dentist, often with the help of other dental professionals, can replace missing teeth, so there’s no reason to do without them. In fact, doing so can cause a host of other dental problems, including bone loss in the jaw, shifting of remaining teeth and gum disease, among other potential consequences. So if you have lost teeth or soon will, see your dentist as soon as possible to discuss your options to restore your smile and protect your dental health.
Would you like more information about tooth replacement options? If so, download our free, informative ebook Three Best Options for Teeth Replacement.
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