As a leading Edgewood Ky., dental office, we are focused on providing preventive and restorative dental options. One thing we see a lot of is missing teeth. Patients often come to us with single missing teeth or entire arches of missing teeth. It’s no secret that missing teeth are an eyesore, but these problems can also make it difficult to eat the food you love.
There is a direct correlation between teeth and overall health. People who are living without teeth can see their health decline rapidly. As it turns out, much of the healthy foods are crunchy and require durable teeth. It’s not uncommon to hear from patients with missing teeth who have forgone eating hard or tough food altogether.
So, if you’re missing teeth, you probably want to know your options. Here are a few things you can choose to do, from bad to great.
What to do about missing teeth
BAD. Do nothing.
Not replacing a missing tooth leaves in obvious hole in your smile, but it can also put the rest of your mouth at risk. When we lose a tooth, the underlying bone with deteriorate. This small change can cause issues across the entire mouth. Teeth can shift around, and other teeth can fail. Additionally, if you’re missing multiple teeth, you cannot chew and digest your food.
GOOD: Dentures, Bridges.
Dentures and bridges have been used in dentistry for years. There was a time when dentures were the ideal way to replace entire arches of missing, and there was a time when bridges were the ideal way to replace a single missing tooth.
Dentures can be designed to snugly fit on your teeth. Full and partial dentures fill in the gaps of your smile, and give you more biting power than nothing. Dentists and researchers have found that dentures provide about 25 to 50 percent of the power of natural teeth.
Bridges are made a of series of crowns that “bridge the gap” caused by missing teeth. To place a bridge, we need to shave down the tooth in front of and behind the missing tooth. This is the case even if those teeth are free of cavities. Bridges can last for many years, but it’s important to understand that anytime we shave down a tooth — the teeth that support the bridge — it’s possible the tooth will have root problems.
GREAT: Dental implants
Dental implants are the most powerful tooth replace option available in dentistry. You just read that dentures can provide about 25 to 50 percent of the power of natural teeth. Dental implants can provide about 90 percent of the power of natural teeth! Best of all, we can restore dental implants with crowns, bridges, or full arches of replacement teeth that do not cover the palate.
How do dental implants work?
So, how are dental implants so powerful? The implants are made from titanium, a biocompatible material. When the implant is placed, it heals around the bone and becomes part of your body. This is why the implant is so stable. The implant can be restored with crowns, bridges, or dentures.
We even use a method known as All-on-4 dental implants that uses permanent replacement teeth that do not cover the upper palate. That may seem like a small advantage, but if you’ve worn dentures traditional dentures, you understand the hassle of constantly having something covering your upper palate.
Our patients tell us they can eat whatever they want with dental implants. If you have missing teeth, come talk with us about your different options. Give our office a call today at 859-474-7830 or use the online form to request an appointment.