General Dentistry |6 min read

Replace Your Missing Teeth

If you are missing one or more teeth from your smile, you understand how important they are to your looks and over all dental health. Your teeth were made to help you speak, chew, and smile – however if you have teeth that are missing, it can make these things difficult.

Replace Your Missing Teeth

If you are missing one or more teeth from your smile, you understand how important they are to your looks and over all dental health. Your teeth were made to help you speak, chew, and smile – however if you have teeth that are missing, it can make those simple tasks difficult. Loss of teeth can cause your other teeth to shift and even make you look older. You’re in luck though, those missing teeth can be replaced!

  1. Bridges

  2. Implants

  3. Removable Dentures/Partial Dentures

  4. Implant Supported Dentures

Example: Teeth naturally when you bite down.

Example: Teeth after you extract a tooth without replacing it. 

You will notice – the bottom teeth & top teeth will move towards the extraction site. This is no bueno! This is why it is so important to replace that missing tooth. 

Tooth Replacement options are below!

Fixed Dental Bridge

Dental bridges are used to hide the gap a missing tooth leaves behind. A traditional bridge is permanently bonded or cemented to your teeth and can only be removed by a Dentist.

How a dental bridge is placed:

Typically, placing your bridge consists of more than one dental visit. Here is what the visits will consist of. 

  1. The dentist preps the teeth on either side of the gap. Later on the bridge will be attached to these teeth. Your dentist may file down the abutment teeth so that the dental crown will fit over each tooth leaving enough room in between for the replacement tooth.
  2. Impressions of your teeth are created and sent to a laboratory. The technicians at the lab will work to create your bridge using materials such as: metal, ceramics, glass-ceramics, or a combination of all of these.
  3. To complete the dental bridge procedure, you’ll need to return for another appointment. Your dentist will remove your temporary and the new permanent bridge will be put in place. Once your dental bridge is placed, you may need to come back for an adjustment to get the fit just right. 

If you practice good oral hygiene, your dental bridge can last more than 10 years. Keep in mind that the dental bridge requires healthy surrounding gums and teeth to stay in place. 

To maintain healthy teeth you should brush twice a day and floss daily. Make sure you schedule regular dental visits and cleanings at least twice a year. 

A dental bridge procedure might be the right treatment for you if you have one or more missing teeth. Have a consultation with a dentist to determine if this procedure is right for you and how much it would cost.

Dental Implants 

Dental implants replace your tooth roots. Because the titanium in the implants fuses with your jawbone, the implants won’t slip, make noise or cause bone damage the way other treatments might. Plus, the materials can’t decay like your own teeth.

How a dental implant is placed:

Implant surgery is typically performed in stages with healing time in between procedures. Placing a dental implant involves multiple steps including:

  1. Damaged tooth extraction
  2. Jawbone preparation (grafting), when needed – this is to prevent bone loss following the tooth extraction. After you get the extraction and bone graft – you must wait until the extraction it is fully healed to proceed with the next step. It may take several months for the transplanted bone to grow enough new bone to support a dental implant. In some cases, you may need only minor bone grafting, which can be done at the same time as the implant surgery.
  3. Placement of the Dental Implant.Your oral surgeon or dentist will make a cut to open your gum and expose the bone. Holes are drilled into the bone where the dental implant metal post will be placed. Since the post will serve as the tooth root, it’s implanted deep into the bone. 

At this point, you’ll still have a gap where your tooth is missing. A type of partial, temporary denture can be placed for appearance, if needed. You can remove this denture for cleaning and while you sleep.

  1. Bone growth and healing. Once the metal post for the implant is placed in your jawbone, osseointegration begins. The jawbone grows during this process and unites with the surface of the dental implant. This process can take several months, but helps provide a solid base for your new artificial tooth.
  2. Abutment placement. 
    1. Your Dentist or oral surgeon reopens your gum to expose the dental implant
    2. The abutment is attached to the dental implant
    3. Your gum tissue is then closed around, but not over, the abutment

After the abutment is placed, your gums must heal for about two weeks before the artificial tooth can be attached.

  1. Artificial tooth placement. Once your gums have had time to heal, you will have more impressions made of your mouth and remaining teeth. Impressions are used to make the crown — your realistic-looking artificial tooth. The crown cannot be placed until your jawbone is strong enough to support use of the new tooth.


Removable Dentures

Dentures are a removable appliance for missing teeth. There are two types of dentures: complete and partial dentures. 

     1 – Complete Denture = Used when all teeth are missing.

     2 – Partial Denture = Used when some natural teeth remain.

For complete dentures – there are two separate types, conventional and immediate dentures.

  • Conventional: A conventional denture is usually made after teeth removal and the gum has begun to heal. It’s typically ready for placement within your mouth in 8-12 weeks after teeth extraction.
  • Immediate: Immediate dentures are manufactured in advance and can be put into your mouth as soon as teeth extraction has taken place. You won’t have to end up toothless during the gum healing period.


Implant Supported Dentures & Bridges

As you read above – you can replace your missing teeth with a partial bridge denture. Even if you have already lost all your teeth, you can use dental implats that serve as an artificial tooth to anchor your bridge or dentures. Implants help make the dentures more sturdy within your mouth. It helps create a solid foundation if you have enough jaw and bone mass left to allow for the implant. 

Gum and bone grafting might be necessary to make up the difference and to ensure that that your implant will be able to stay attached to your jaw. This helps the longevity of your implant supported denture or bridge.


More From East Orlando Dental

How to Heal After a Tooth Extraction
At-Home VS. Professional Teeth Whitening


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