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Replacing Missing Teeth

Oral Surgeon Bowie, MD

Your teeth affect your whole body. When they’re healthy, you’re healthier too. A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance they will wear out prematurely, or be damaged or lost. You may also experience headaches and/or jaw pain. Missing teeth also cause other teeth to shift and some patients develop parafunctional habits such as grinding or clenching as a result of disharmony caused by the missing teeth. Who would want their appearance and health to deteriorate? That’s the natural consequence of missing teeth – the jaw literally melts away. Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss. Dental implants are more easily and predictably placed when teeth are first extracted or lost because bone replacement becomes more complex as time passes. The great news? Implants act just like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, oral health and appearance. Your regular dentist and the oral surgeon will provide you with options so that you can make the most informed decision concerning tooth replacement.

TOOTH REPLACEMENT OPTIONS

  • You can select from a number of different options to replace your missing teeth – from removable such as dentures to long-lasting permanent solutions such as a fixed dental bridge or dental implants.
  • A good candidate is anyone missing one or more teeth, or who is unhappy with their dentures. Age is not a factor. However, smoking, diseases such as diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area, have been shown to lower the success rate of implant placement.  X-rays of your jaw will be taken to evaluate whether they will accommodate implants. Detailed x-rays may also be required to determine if other tests or procedures are needed to place implants properly.

WHY SELECT DENTAL IMPLANTS OVER MORE TRADITIONAL TYPES OF RESTORATIONS?

There are several reasons: A dental bridge can sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge the space of the missing tooth/teeth. In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention loose fitting dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
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