Edentulism is a nationwide concern with almost 180 million Americans missing at least one tooth and 40 million missing an entire mouthful. As we age, the problem intensifies. Decay is the primary culprit of shifting, loose, and eventually dislodged teeth, and it often begins with early signs of gum disease. Inflamed, tender, and bleeding gums are serious warning signs of advancing periodontal disease… from which approximately half of Americans suffer. Once the advanced symptoms set in, simple home oral health care isn’t enough to reverse the problem. Ignored or avoided too long and avulsion is bound to occur. Fortunately, your Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist has a few effective solutions for missing teeth.
Porcelain Fixed Dental Bridge
A missing tooth leaves a gap in the mouth that not only results in severe confidence issues and the refusal to smile. It also provides the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and decay. While the surrounding teeth may be strong at first, ignore the missing tooth long enough and bacteria will begin eating away at the unprotected teeth as well. Damaged teeth often are repaired with porcelain crowns, but once a tooth completely falls out a porcelain bridge is needed. In this procedure, two crowns fit over the surrounding teeth on either end of the gap and the bridge itself fits directly into the gap. Thus, all spaces are secured and normal tooth functionality returns. With proper dental care and professional check-ups, a bridge can last well over a decade.
Dental procedures have pretty much stayed the same over the years, but dental materials constantly evolve and improve. So modern dentures aren’t the same as the fake-looking gum-smacking variety your great-grandparents may have worn. Depending on the amount of tooth loss, your Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist may recommend full or partial dentures. Full dentures replace the entire top or bottom row of teeth while partials are created to fit into your mouth like a puzzle piece or Lego block, effectively replacing the gaps left by a few missing teeth. The porcelain caps within dentures are attached to a base resembling your natural gum. Color compatible dental-strength adhesive then holds the partial or full denture in place to your natural gum or even snaps onto metal clasps so slippage and discomfort are things of the past. Like many things in life, there is a learning curve for wearing dentures comfortably. But it’s a short curve for most patients.
The concept of removable or non-permanent tooth replacement structures doesn’t appeal to everyone. If you’re among that crowd, dental implants may be a better option for your needs. Unlike other tooth replacement options that attach to surrounding teeth or are glued into the mouth, dental implants are surgically implanted to permanently replace the missing teeth. As such, all functionality is restored, and that often results in reverse aging as the facial structure also returns. Due to the surgical aspect, dental implants are an invasive procedure and require several appointments to complete. Three phases of the procedure include abutment implantation, osseointegration (bone acceptance and healing), and finally, placement of the porcelain crowns. Regardless of your needs or budget, Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist has a replacement solution that can fit your needs.