If you’ve lost teeth, or are about to have some extracted, you’re facing many new limitations. You might only be able to eat soft foods because eating anything else causes you discomfort. You might not be able to speak clearly and naturally. You can smile but the idea embarrasses you—especially if the missing teeth are in your smile zone. Your face may even take on a sunken, aged appearance if your tooth loss leads to bone recession. There are many solutions to recover your smile, including dental bridges and dental implants, which offer the function and esthetics of real teeth, jaw protection, and unequaled longevity. You may be surprised at how quickly you’re able to eat, speak, laugh, and smile again once your teeth are replaced. If you have failing or missing teeth in Waterford, CT, reach out, we’ll help you find the tooth replacement solution you need for a complete, confident, and healthy smile.
Life with Missing Teeth
A limited diet
Sunken facial appearance
Why Replace Damaged or Missing Teeth?
Infected, damaged, and failing teeth should be removed, if untreatable, to protect your dental health and even systemic health. Unless they’re wisdom teeth or are extra teeth that are causing overcrowding in your mouth, most teeth should be replaced after coming out, whether due to trauma, decay, or extraction.
Apart from all of the quality of life issues mentioned above, tooth loss can trigger a sort of “domino effect,” where bone deterioration begins underneath the empty tooth sockets, followed by further tooth loss as the decay expands. So, when you lose teeth, if you replace them quickly enough, tooth replacement may be the only issue you have to address. If you wait longer, you may be looking at bone reconstruction before you can consider tooth replacement options. Once your jaw is strong enough, you’ll have choices ranging from a single dental implant or denture to bridges, or rows of artificial teeth.
For one missing tooth or a series of missing teeth, dental bridges are frequently the first solution many patients think of. Dental bridges are made of series of crowns that span the gap left behind by tooth loss. Requiring one or more adjacent teeth as the foundation of the bridge, called the abutment teeth, this solution requires that we remove some of the enamel of this tooth, or teeth, when placing your dental bridge. Once placed, this solution is aesthetic and prevents adjacent teeth from shifting.
Dentures and Partials
Dentures are a time-tested, economical option for missing teeth replacement. They fit over your gums and stay in place either through suction or adhesive creams but can also be removed. You can have full or partial dentures; full dentures cover entire arches of teeth, essentially replacing all your teeth while partial dentures take the place of a few missing teeth in a row or throughout an arch.
Implant Supported Dentures
For additional stability, dentures can be anchored in your jawbone by dental implants. Implant supported dentures won’t slip out of place or irritate your gums and offer healthy bone stimulation. They also enable you to eat a greater variety of foods than standard dentures do.
The best overall tooth replacement option available today is dental implants. They are the most natural-looking solution that can also last decades with proper care. Comprised partly of artificial tooth roots, they protect your jawbone from deterioration and thus your facial shape from changing. What’s more, they allow you to eat anything you want—hard foods, sticky foods, chewy foods, and whatever your favorites might be.