Replacing Lost Teeth
Why Replace Lost Teeth?
Losing one or more teeth can be a traumatic experience for adults, not just because we depend on them for chewing and speaking, but because a set of bright, white teeth is a reflection of our health habits and our self-esteem. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding teeth begin to shift, to fill in the gap left by the missing tooth. Once the teeth are out of alignment they can become crooked.
A crooked smile can cause problems with the way teeth align, causing problems with chewing, brushing, flossing and properly aligning. When the teeth are out of alignment, and the upper and lower jaws don’t meet properly, enough strain can be put on the jaw to cause Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), which can effect the muscles used to open and close the jaw, causing headaches and discomfort.
Each time a tooth is lost, bone in the jaw is lost. The deterioration of bone in the jaw, leads to the ‘sunken’ look that occurs with tooth loss. Of course, it’s best to prevent tooth loss, through good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, but replacing a tooth with a Dental Implant actually stimulates bone growth and helps preserve the contour of your face and jaw.
Dental Implants are placed directly into the jaw. This procedure stimulates the jaw bone, so that is grows around the implant. This natural healing process is called osseointegration. Osseointegration, the body’s natural healing process, keeps the implant securely in place and prevents further bone loss. An abutment is attached to the implant, to hold a crown, creating a tooth that looks natural, replaces bone and can last a lifetime. They require the same care as natural teeth.
Dental Bridges can be used when there is an existing tooth on one or both sides of a missing tooth, or teeth. Dental Bridges fill the spaces caused by missing teeth, and prevent shifting and other problems associated with tooth loss.
Dental Implants or Bridges?
Dental Implants are initially more costly than Dental Bridges, but may be more cost effective in the long run. Dental Insurance companies are beginning to understand this, and many plans now cover part of the cost of Dental Implants. Some companies will allow the cost of coverage for Dental Bridges to be put toward Implants.
Contact us for more information. A visit with Dr. Holz can help you decide which option is best for you.