Missing teeth can lead to more problems than you may realize. The unsightliness of a large gap in your smile is actually the least of your concerns. The other issues that may arise can have a much more serious impact on your oral health, making it crucial that you replace missing teeth as soon as possible.
Over time, you will gradually begin to develop the following issues when you fail to replace missing teeth:
- Bone density around the missing tooth will deteriorate, which can place you at risk for additional tooth loss down the road
- Your remaining teeth will shift to fill in the gap, resulting in a misaligned bite
- You will have an increased risk of gum disease, and any existing periodontal issues may become significantly worse
- You may develop a sunken facial appearance due to the loss of jawbone, making you look much older
- You may experience difficulty eating certain foods, leading to a variety of health issues associated with poor nutrition
Fortunately, there are several effective tooth replacement options available to you. The right solution for you will depend on a variety of factors, including the condition of your oral health, the number of teeth you are missing, and your budget.
Dental implants are by far the most effective option to replace missing teeth. They consist of three parts:
- A titanium implant that is inserted into your jawbone to replace your missing root
- A small post, called an abutment, which connects the implant with your new prosthetic tooth
- A prosthetic replacement tooth, which generally consists of a dental crown (for one missing tooth) or a denture (for multiple teeth)
Dr. Paul Binon typically recommends dental implants for all patients who are suitable candidates due to the many benefits they provide. These include:
- Only option to replace your missing root along with your missing tooth
- Adjacent natural teeth don’t need to be prepared or altered to support the implant, resulting in improved long-term oral health
- Prevents future jawbone deterioration that may occur with other options which don’t replace your missing root
- Permanent restoration that can last a lifetime with proper care
- Restores full bite function, allowing you to eat all foods without concern
- Beautiful, natural looking results that blend in seamlessly with your smile
- Eliminates embarrassing speech issues that can occur with poorly fitting dentures
While dental implants are your best solution, they aren’t right for everyone. If you lack the proper jawbone density to accommodate the implant, you may not be a suitable candidate. In some instances, Dr. Binon may be able to perform a bone graft or use mini implants in order to allow you to benefit from dental implants in these situations.
In addition, the dental implant process takes a long time to complete. After inserting the implant, there is a 3-6 month healing period where the implant fuses with your jawbone. Therefore, you must be willing to commit to the lengthy time required of the dental implant process.
Budget considerations may also impact whether dental implants are right for you. While they are the best option, they are also the most expensive. The cost is worthwhile due to the many benefits you’ll receive, but it’s important to ensure that you can fit the cost of your procedure into your budget. Dr. Binon offers a variety of financing options and will review these with you during your initial consultation.
Dentures are an excellent option if you need to replace multiple teeth. Full dentures will replace an entire arch of teeth, and partial dentures can be used if you need to replace several teeth, but still have some natural teeth remaining in the arch.
Modern dentures are much more effective than the restorations used decades ago. You can achieve beautiful, natural looking results that restore most of your chewing function. In addition, modern dentures fit much better than ever before, eliminating many of the speech issues that used to occur due to poorly fitting dentures.
Whenever possible, Dr. Binon will recommend implant-supported dentures for more effective results. As the name implies, your denture is supported by a series of dental implants that will securely attach the restoration to your jawbone. If you need to replace a large number of teeth, implant-supported dentures provide you with a more cost-effective solution than dental implants, while delivering many of the benefits you’ll experience from implants. In many ways, this option offers you the best of both worlds.
If you are only missing a small number of teeth and aren’t a good dental implant candidate, then a dental bridge may be a good option for you. This restoration requires dental crowns to be attached to your neighboring teeth in order to support your new prosthetic tooth. This solution can effectively replace 1-3 teeth.
Dental bridges offer a variety of benefits, including:
- Prevents your remaining teeth from shifting out of position
- Distributes bite forces properly, improving your ability to chew
- Prevents the sunken facial appearance that occurs from missing teeth
- Provides a beautiful, natural looking restoration that eliminates the gap in your smile
- Maintains a comfortable bite position
The primary drawback to dental bridges is that they require your neighboring teeth to be altered in order to support the bridge. This, along with the fact that it doesn’t replace your missing root, makes a dental bridge a less ideal option than implants. However, you can still achieve effective, long lasting results with a dental bridge.
Dr. Binon also offers a bone-anchored bridge, which consists of a fixed dental bridge that is used to replace an entire arch of missing teeth. The bridge is supported by 4-6 dental implants spaced throughout your dental arch, providing a more permanent replacement that restores full chewing function. If you are missing a full arch of teeth, a bone-anchored bridge offers an effective alternative to implant-supported dentures.
Contact our Roseville Prosthodontist
If you need to replace one or more missing teeth, please contact Dr. Paul Binon using the form on this page or call 916-786-6676 today to schedule a consultation. We serve patients in Roseville, Sacramento and throughout the surrounding areas of California.