Replacing Missing Teeth
Missing teeth significantly impacts the overall appearance of the smile. Unfortunately, the effects of tooth loss extend much further than oral aesthetics. When even a single tooth goes missing it can weaken the smile, compromise oral functions, and impact the alignment of adjacent teeth. Without treatment, tooth loss can lead to further complications, including bone degeneration.
At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, serving Philadelphia, PA, Bucks County, and Doylestown, PA, Dr. Bruce Wilderman offers a range of restorative dentistry treatments to rebuild the strength, function, and beauty of the smile by replacing missing teeth. Here we discuss the tooth loss treatment options that are available to our dental patients.
A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration that sits between the natural teeth to fill in gaps left by tooth loss. Dental bridges are generally recommended when patients have lost a single tooth or a small set of teeth (up to three teeth) from the same area of the mouth.
Traditional dental bridges are held in place by two dental crowns - one on either side of the area of tooth loss. Dental crowns are placed over the natural teeth and bonded in place with a tooth-colored dental compound. The pontic (artificial) piece of the bridge sits between the dental crowns. The pontic is fabricated to replicate the missing tooth or teeth. Dental bridges are strong, attractive, and secure. They blend in seamlessly with the natural teeth and allow patients to bite, chew, and speak comfortably.
When individuals have lost multiple teeth, or up to an entire arch of teeth, they will likely require partial or complete dentures. Dentures are removable restorations that sit over the gum line to replace missing teeth. Partial dentures consist of a metal framework that hooks around adjacent teeth, while complete dentures suction to the gum line and are often held in place with the help of dentures adhesive.
Because traditional dentures are removable, they do not offer the same degree of security as dental bridges or dental implants. However, some patients prefer traditional dentures for extensive tooth loss, since the treatment is non-invasive and affordable, and dentures are easy to replace or repair.
Dental implants are considered the gold standard in tooth loss treatment, because they are the closest replica to natural teeth. Dental implants are small titanium screws that are surgically placed in the jaw bone, where they act as replacement tooth roots. The implants serve as anchors for a wide range of dental restorations, including dental crowns, dental bridges, and fixed dentures.
Dental implants treatment requires oral surgery and is more costly than other tooth loss treatments. However, dental implants are stronger, more durable, and more comfortable than other dental restorations, and with proper care they can last a lifetime.
Contact Artistic Expressions Dentistry
Whether you have lost a single tooth, a large set of teeth, or an entire arch of teeth, Dr. Bruce Wilderman can help you determine the most appropriate restorative dentistry treatment to rebuild your smile. To learn more about the tooth loss treatments offered at Artistic Expressions Dentistry, send us a message online, or call our practice at (215) 340-1199.