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Treatment for Missing Teeth

Craig Goldin DDS Nov 13, 2015

Computer illustration of a dental bridge and the teeth on which it will be placedGum disease is the main cause of adult tooth loss in our nation, but accidents, medications, and other diseases can cause tooth loss, as well. Approximately 178 million Americans have lost one or more teeth, and 35 million are missing all of their teeth. Contemporary dental prosthodontics and restorative dentistry result in more natural looking and long-lasting teeth replacement options. To learn more about treatment options for missing teeth, contact our Troy, MI practice today.

Missing One Tooth

One missing tooth may not seem like a reason to rush to the dentist, especially if no one can see the space when you smile. Studies show, however, that a single lost tooth heightens the risk for losing more teeth. In addition, the space left by the missing tooth allows neighboring teeth to drift out of their proper position. This tooth movement can result in malocclusion, which can lead to a host of problems, from bruxism to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

To replace a single missing tooth, you have two options: a traditional dental bridge or an implant-supported dental crown.

Missing Two or More Teeth

In most cases, two or more missing teeth will be replaced with either a dental bridge or partial denture. Bridges replace one tooth or a few teeth in a row. Partials replace many teeth across the upper or lower arch.

A bridge consists of a dental crown, one or more solid replacement teeth, and another crown, all in one piece. The crowns attach to healthy teeth, while the solid replacement teeth fill the spaces left by lost teeth. Bridges are non-removable, or fixed, appliances. They tend to last 10 to 15 years, with good oral health and proper daily oral hygiene.

A partial denture consists of a base with clasps, as well as solid replacement teeth anchored to the base so that they fit into spaces left by missing teeth. The partial’s clasps fit onto healthy, natural teeth to hold the prosthetic in place. Today, most partial clasps are inconspicuous. With good oral health and proper care, a removable partial can last about five years.

Bridges and partials may also be secured to independently anchored implant posts, in which case they will not rely on healthy, natural teeth for support.

Missing All Teeth

To replace all of the teeth on the upper, lower, or both arches, dentures are required. Conventional upper dentures may be fabricated with a closed palate so that they can be held in place with natural suction, instead of denture adhesive. Upper dentures may also be made with an open palate and, like lower dentures, be held in place with adhesive. The underlining of a denture is made to fit against a patient’s unique gum ridges to assist with stabilization. Dentures may be fixed or removable, and with good care they should last five to seven years or longer. Dentures can be relined or rebased to prolong their life.

Many patients with good oral health and jawbone density opt for implant-supported dentures, due to their ease of care, reliable retention, and long lifespan.

Schedule Your Visit and Exam

If you need replacement teeth, contact Cosmetic Dentistry Institute today to schedule a consultation with Drs. Craig or Marcy Goldin, or Dr. Amy Carlino. They will examine your oral health, talk with you about your expectations, and recommend treatment that will fit your lifestyle and goals.

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Troy, MI 48083

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