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Replacing Teeth — From Bad, Good, to Great

  • February 14, 2017
  • When it comes to dentistry, there are few things as traumatic as losing a tooth. That’s why our team is focused on providing great preventive care at our three locations — Hagerstown, Frederick, and Ellicott City.

    Nothing is as good as your natural teeth, but dentistry has evolved to where we can replace your teeth with something nearly as durable as your natural teeth. Today, we would like to highlight a few things you can do when you have missing teeth — from bad, good, to great.

    Are You Missing a Tooth?

    While gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, we sometimes lose teeth to trauma or severe decay. When a tooth is lost, you have a few options: Do nothing, get a partial denture, get a bridge, or get a dental implants. Here are those option from bad to great.  

    BAD: Do nothing. You might have guessed that not replacing the tooth is a bad option. You’ll have a permanent gap in your smile, and a missing tooth can cause adjacent teeth to shift. So, not only do you have a missing tooth, but you risk the alignment of your healthy remaining teeth.  

    GOOD: Partial dentures or a dental bridge can fill the gap of the missing teeth. A partial denture can clip into the mouth to bridge the gap caused by the missing tooth. A dental bridge is placed by shaving down the adjacent teeth and then placing a restoration of three crowns. A dental bridge can last for years, but the procedure is somewhat invasive. We have to shave down the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth even if those teeth are free of cavities.

    GREAT: A dental implant is known as the best tooth replacement option available in dentistry. Dental implants are made from titanium and placed into the bone. The bone and dental implants merge through a process known as osseointegration. Once the implant has healed to the bone, we can placed a durable dental crown. Dental implant procedures are highly successful — with about a 98 percent success rate and can last for a lifetime.

    Are You Missing All of Your Teeth?

    There are millions of Americans living without teeth. Missing teeth make it difficult to eat the food you love, and it’s impossible to smile with confidence. Here’s what you can do if you have missing teeth.

    BAD: Do nothing. This will severely limit your food intake and immediately change your face.

    GOOD: Removable dentures.  Removable dentures can fill the gap caused by missing teeth and restore some of your chewing function. We can place dentures immediately after the failing teeth are extracted. The great thing about dentures today is that the materials are comfortable and lifelike. The downside of removable dentures is that they are no secured in the mouth. Your dentures may slide or slip around in the mouth when you chew your food or speak. Additionally, once the teeth are lost, the jaw bone will recede. This can happen quickly, as soon as 18 months after the teeth are lost. A receding jawbone will change the shape of your face and cause you to develop wrinkles around the mouth. Basically, you’ll look much older than you are.

    GREAT: Dental implants, again, can be your best option for replacing missing teeth. Using dental implants, we can secure your dentures. The added support will also give you more biting force. It’s estimated that dental implants match about 90 percent of the biting force of natural teeth, whereas removable dentures match the power of natural teeth by only between 25 and 50 percent. The dental implants can stopped jaw bone recession, too. So, you’ll be eating better and won’t have to worry about looking older than you really are.

    Missing teeth can change your life drastically. But the good news is that our offices are here to help you through this trying time. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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