Treatment Options for Missing Teeth
Adult tooth loss in an unfortunate dental problem that a number of Dr. Bruce Wilderman’s patients experience. Many of our Philadelphia patients with missing teeth are disturbed by the negative impact that tooth loss has on the aesthetics of the smile. Unfortunately, the cosmetic flaws caused by tooth loss are only one part of the problem. Patients who have lost teeth are at higher risk for additional oral health problems. Without treatment, lost teeth can lead to deterioration of the jaw bone, shifting of the remaining teeth, and a weakening of the remaining teeth. In addition, tooth loss can negatively affect oral function, making chewing, eating, and speaking more difficult. For all of these reasons, it is important to treat tooth loss before oral health, function, and aesthetics are compromised.
Dr. Wilderman offers a number of treatment options for missing teeth at our cosmetic dentistry practice. Each treatment option has its own pros and cons to consider. The best treatment for tooth loss will vary by patient and will be dependent on factors such as how many teeth have been lost, where the teeth are located, and the patient’s personal preference. Following is a brief description of some common treatments for tooth loss:
- Dental bridges: Dental bridges can be an ideal treatment for patients who have lost one or more teeth from one section of the mouth. Dental bridges are anchored on either side by dental crowns that are placed on the adjacent teeth; this treatment approach is best suited for patients who have strong teeth surrounding the missing tooth. One of the benefits of dental bridges is that it is a less invasive treatment and can improve the appearance of the smile while preventing surrounding teeth from shifting. However, patients should keep in mind that a dental bridge will not prevent bone loss.
- Dentures: Dentures are ideal for replacing a group of teeth or an entire jaw of missing teeth. Dentures are one of the more affordable restorative dental treatments and effectively repairs the cosmetic damage of missing teeth. However, some drawbacks to dentures include the special care that is required to keep dentures clean, potential problems with fit and function, and the lack of security. Like a dental bridge, dentures are not effective in preventing deterioration of the jaw bone.
- Dental implants: Dental implants are preferred by many of Dr. Wilderman’s patients because they offer the most secure and comfortable anchor. Because dental implants fuse to the jaw bone in order to act as replacement tooth roots, they are also the only restorative treatment that helps prevent bone loss. Dental implants offer a secure and permanent base for dental crowns, dental bridges, or permanent dentures. The downsides of dental implants are the fact that they are more costly than other restorative treatments and can take several months for treatment to be complete. However, many patients find that the durability and convenience of dental implants are worth the investment in treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
When tooth loss has occurred, it is vital to both the health and aesthetics of surrounding teeth that the tooth be replaced. To learn more about the treatment options offered by Dr. Bruce Wilderman, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. We look forward to restoring the health and beauty of your smile!