Losing a tooth can be a very traumatic experience and it’s very unfortunate when it does happen. Injury, accident, fracture, severe dental decay, and gum disease are the major reasons for having to remove a tooth. Removing a tooth is the last option because Dr. Murphy knows that removal may lead to severe and costly dental and cosmetic problems if the tooth is not replaced.
When a tooth is lost, the jaw bone that helped to support that tooth begins to atrophy, causing the teeth on either side to shift or tip into the open space of the lost tooth. At the same time, the tooth above or below the open space will start to move towards the open space because there is no opposing tooth to bite on. These movements may create problems such as decay, gum disease, excessive wear on certain teeth, and TMJ (jaw joint) problems. These problems and movements will eventually appear, compromising your chewing abilities, the health of your bite, and the beauty of your smile.
Options for replacement of missing teeth:
Implants – Are a great way to replace one or more missing teeth. They may also be great to support ill-fitting dentures. A dental implant is an artificial root that is surgically placed into the jaw bone to replace a missing tooth. A crown is then placed on the implant, giving the appearance and feel of a natural tooth. Implants are stable, durable, and the most aesthetically pleasing tooth replacement option, and usually the longest lasting.
Fixed bridges – This type of bridge is generally made of porcelain or composite material and is cemented permanently to a natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth site. The benefit of this type of bridge is that it is fixed and very sturdy. The disadvantage is that in order to create a fixed appliance, natural teeth will have to be crowned to hold the bridge in place.
Partial (removable) dentures – These are a good solution for replacing more than one missing tooth They are usually made of tooth-colored, artificial teeth combined with metal clasps that hook onto adjacent natural teeth. A Partial is usually the most economical option for replacing missing teeth.
Dentures – This type of tooth replacement is used when most or all of the natural teeth are missing in one dental arch. Dentures are removable artificial teeth that are made to closely resemble the patients’ original teeth.
If you are missing teeth, ask Dr. Murphy if they need replacement and what options are available to you. Together we will select the best replacement option for your particular case. Prevention and early treatment is always less involved and less costly than delaying treatment and allowing a serious problem to develop. Call 262.650.300 today to schedule a free consultation.