Mind the Gap: Treatment Options for Missing Teeth

Nov 30, 2015 @ 12:32 PM — by Lisbeth Bradley DDS

A dental bridgeDr. Lis Bradley is a leading dentist who proudly serves patients in and around the greater Nashville area. She believes in an approach to dental care focused on total wellness, using the latest in preventative and general dentistry to meet a patient's needs.

When a patient is missing a tooth or a few teeth, the best option for care is a restorative measure. With that in mind, let's consider some of the best restorative options for major tooth loss.

Why You Need to Take Tooth Loss Seriously

Tooth loss can lead to a number of dental health and general wellness issues.

If you are missing a single tooth, the tooth gap can result in a number of cosmetic flaws. You might find yourself self-conscious about your smile, which means that you may be hesitant laughing, smiling, and speaking, even around family members and close friends.

With more serious tooth loss, you might notice problems with biting and chewing. Suddenly it may be more difficult to eat your favorite foods. The tooth loss can also contribute to teeth grinding and the gradual misalignment of your remaining teeth.

It's also important to note that gum recession and bone loss are common over time in the area of a tooth gap. This is because there is no root structure in place to help keep the tissue secured.

Dental Bridges

When you are missing a tooth or a few teeth, a great option to consider is a dental bridge. Dental bridges brace around your remaining teeth in order to remain in place. With a dental bridge, you'll be able to laugh, smile, bite, and chew again without worries.

Partial Dentures

When you have lost many teeth in a row, a dental bridge is no longer a viable treatment option. In these cases, a partial denture is more ideal. Partial dentures will brace around the remaining gum tissue and jaw bone structure to remain in place, restoring appearance as well as the ability to bite and chew.

Full Dentures

If you are missing the majority of your teeth, a full denture is a great option to consider. Full dentures can be used to fill an entire dental arch, which means you'll be able to bite and chew again. Full dentures will also prevent the hollow, sucked-in appearance of the lips and cheeks common with people who have experienced serious tooth loss.

Implant Dentistry

Removable appliances are good, but it's a good idea to consider getting dental implants if possible. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically embedded into the bone and gum tissue. Once several months of healing and fusion have taken place, the implants will be able to support bridges, dentures, and even individual dental crowns.

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for dental implants since oral surgery is involved and the cost might prove prohibitive for some households. However, those who do get dental implants report great patient satisfaction and exceptional overall results.

Contact Our Practice to Treat Your Tooth Loss

If you would like to learn more about your treatment options for missing teeth, we encourage you to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Lis Bradley will be more than happy to meet with you and discuss all of your options for treatment in greater detail.

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