Whether through decay, infection, or injury, you’ve lost several teeth, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live with the gaps. In fact, leaving your smile as-is after tooth loss can lead to many unpleasant, avoidable problems. For instance, the teeth you still have can wander out of place and, as a result, can undergo excessive pressure and wear, potentially causing cracks or fractures. Plus, an uneven bite can create problems with your jaw joint, leading to jaw pain or chronic headaches.
But perhaps most importantly, tooth loss can beget additional tooth loss down the road—when a tooth’s roots are removed from the jaw bone, the body reabsorbs the nutrients sent to that area and puts them elsewhere, meaning that the jaw bone weakens. Your remaining teeth receive less support and are more likely to be lost. That’s why it’s so important to replace your missing teeth!
At Cornerstone Dental, Dr. Goodwill, Dr. Majidian, and the rest of our team are able to offer several treatments that complete your smile again.
If your missing teeth are right next to each other, you may be able to use a dental bridge to restore them. This restoration consists of dental crowns that are joined together with the two ends hollowed out to fit over and attach to the healthy teeth that surround the gap.
Perhaps your lost teeth are more spread throughout your arch. A removeable partial denture, which is made of gum-colored acrylic and porcelain crowns, can fill in the holes and maintain proper spacing with your remaining teeth. This restoration relies on clasps or gravity, in the case of the lower teeth, to keep them in place.
Unlike traditional bridges, implant-supported bridges replace more than just the visible crowns of the missing teeth. Instead of bonding to natural teeth, these bridges are attached to two dental implants that have firmly integrated with the jaw bone.
Instead of clasping onto your remaining teeth like a traditional partial, an implant-retained partial denture is connected to a few dental implants, which hold the restoration in position more solidly. Implants also help the prosthetic teeth last much longer.
On your own, it can be difficult to know which alternative can best meet your needs. Although traditional bridges and dentures are less expensive initially, they need to be replaced much more frequently than the implant-retained versions. Also, because dental implants are placed into the jaw bone, they keep it stimulated and nutrients coming to the area, fighting against the saggy appearance and weaker bone that occur when you lose teeth. Alone, bridges and dentures can’t do that!
Ultimately, the only way to decide the option that is right for you is to have a consultation with one of our skilled dentists at our Fargo office. Contact our team to get started.
In general, the more teeth you’re replacing, the more your dental implants treatment will cost, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll require one implant per missing tooth. Implant-supported bridges, for example, are capable of replacing three or more consecutive missing teeth with just two implants. So, even if you are replacing four missing teeth in a row, you may likely only need two implants placed. However, your restoration will still need to address all the missing teeth to look natural, increasing the overall cost of treatment. Our team can determine the estimated cost of your treatment when you come in for a consultation with us.