Missing teeth are a common issue for people of advanced age or people who experience trauma to the face and head. Thankfully we offer plenty of treatments at our East Honolulu practice. We will work closely with you to help you get the treatment that’s ideal for your needs.
Let’s take a moment to consider the problems linked to tooth loss. We’ll then look at bridges, dentures, and dental implants and how these can help you have a healthy smile again.
Why Missing Teeth Are a Problem
Tooth loss is linked to a number of problems that affect the health and aesthetics of your smile:
- Cosmetic Problems - Missing teeth can lead you to feel self-conscious about your smile, which can make you hesitant about laughing, smiling, and speaking to others, even co-workers and loved ones. If you are missing many teeth, your lips and cheeks may appear sunken in and hollow as a result of the tooth loss.
- Health Problems - Missing teeth can making biting and chewing difficult, which can have a negative impact on your health and diet. The tooth loss can also lead to a loss of bone density along the dental arch and gum recession, which can contribute to loose teeth and further tooth loss.
For people missing a tooth or a few teeth, a dental bridge may be the most ideal option to consider. A dental bridge is an appliance that fills the gap left behind by missing teeth. The bridge remains in place by bracing around teeth that are adjacent to the tooth gap.
Fixed Dental Bridges
A variant on the traditional bridge, a fixed bridge is a bridge that is held in place with dental crowns positioned on either side of the artificial teeth. The crowns cap the healthy teeth adjacent to the tooth gap, which holds the appliance in place. Thanks to the crowns, the bridge remains in place with greater strength and stability than a traditional bridge.
When a person is missing many teeth and a bridge is no longer an ideal option, a partial denture may be recommended instead. A partial denture is held in place by bracing around the dental arch. The custom design helps ensure the partial denture remains secure when biting and chewing.
For people who are missing all of their teeth or almost all of their teeth, a full denture is the best option to consider. A full denture braces around the dental arch, holding secure around the bone and gum tissue so a patient can bite and chew. Denture creams can be used to improve the overall stability of the denture.
While the above dental appliances can be effective, some patients opt for dental implants. These artificial tooth roots are surgically embedded into the jawbone and gum tissue, where these fuse with the living tissues of the mouth in a process known as osseointegration. Once patients have full health, the dental implants are just as secure as natural tooth roots.
Dental implants can be used to support bridges, dentures, and even individual dental crowns for single-tooth replacement. Since oral surgery is involved, the cost of dental implants is much higher than the other options listed, but many patients feel that the benefits of care justify the increased price tag.
Learn More About Treating Tooth Loss
For more information about treating tooth loss and making your smile beautiful and healthy, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist. The team at Hawaii Pacific Dental Group is here to answer your questions and address your concerns.