Replacement of Missing Teeth
Teeth may need to be removed for several reasons (extreme decay, unfavorable fractures, advanced gum disease). Missing teeth can decrease a person’s quality of life. When teeth are lost, the surround teeth can shift and become a hindrance. Also, the bone that once housed the teeth may start to shrink. It is very important to replace these missing teeth as soon as possible so that you chew comfortably, talk correctly and smile with confidence.
Dr. Abernathy performs simple and surgical extractions under local anesthesia. At the time it is determined that a tooth/teeth need to be removed, we will discuss options to replace the missing tooth/teeth (except in the case of wisdom teeth). A temporary bridge or denture is highly recommended to prevent shifting of the surrounding teeth.
A dental implant is a titanium or ceramic root form that is placed in the area of the missing tooth/teeth. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia in most cases. After a healing period of 4-6 months, the implant is then ready for the procedure to place the replacement tooth/teeth. This is will require multiple visits, but this option also has a low failure rate and is one of the most sought after procedures for replacing missing teeth.
A dental bridge is a permanently fixed restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. For a bridge, the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared and the multi-tooth unit is then cemented in place with a false tooth replacing the missing tooth/teeth. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia and can take 2-3 visits depending on the complexity of your condition.
Though an implant is a better option to replace the missing tooth/teeth, a dental bridge is a very viable and cost-effective option.
Removable Partial Denture
A removable partial denture is a set of teeth made out of a hard acrylic, an epoxy resin or a combination of acrylic and metal. This is used to replace multiple missing teeth when there are still healthy teeth that remain. The remaining teeth may need to be lightly prepared or have crowns placed on them and the denture fits around the remaining teeth. A partial denture can also be affixed with implants. This procedure will require careful planning and multiple visits.
A complete denture is needed when all of the teeth are missing in one or both arches or need to be removed because of advanced decay or advanced gum disease. The dentures are made out of acrylic or porcelain and can be affixed to the gums with implants (which is especially recommended for the bottom teeth). Careful planning and multiple visits are needed to make dentures.
If you have missing teeth and want to explore your options for replacement, please contact us to schedule your consultation.