All I Want for Christmas . . .

Now that you have a cute, but slightly annoying, Christmas jingle on replay in your mind . . . you know where we’re going with this.  Maybe for Christmas, you could replace one or more missing teeth!

Why You Should Replace Missing Teeth

People often think that a missing tooth, when it isn’t in a cosmetic area, doesn’t cause any problems.  The truth is that losing a back tooth is actually worse for you over time than missing a front tooth!  Because of the importance of each back tooth in the ability to chew food properly, even a single missing tooth can affect the rest of the mouth.

Consequences for Surrounding Teeth

By not replacing a missing molar, the teeth surrounding it are at a higher risk for dental problems like gum recession and tooth cracks.  They may tilt or drift into a new position or angle that changes the forces they receive on biting.  They also bear a higher amount force than they were made to withstand.

Consequences for Overall Health

When you are missing multiple molars and premolars, your ability to adequately chew your food greatly suffers.  Some people actually experience serious GI problems due to under-chewing their food.  Chewing is the first step in digestion, and it is important.  Many of our patients tell us that they thought they were chewing well enough until they replace the missing teeth with dental implants; then they see how much they were missing!

What are Your Options?

There are multiple options to replace missing teeth, and we can break them into three broad categories.  Your specific options may vary depending on your unique situation.

  1. Dental Implants – By far, implants are the most natural way to replace missing teeth. Because they anchor into the jawbone, as a real tooth does, they create the most natural appearance and the best chewing function.
  2. Cemented Bridges – A bridge replaces a small number of missing teeth by anchoring onto the neighboring teeth. Bridges are the fastest way to replace missing teeth and produce a nice cosmetic result in most cases.  The dentist cements a bridge onto the adjacent teeth, and all of the teeth under a bridge are connected, so there are some special oral hygiene adjustments you must make.
  3. Removable Partials & Dentures – Removable appliances like partials and dentures replace multiple missing teeth. These are the least expensive options for replacing missing teeth, and they often provide a wonderful option for temporarily replacing teeth while you wait for healing or saving up for other treatment options.

How Can You Get Started?

The first step in replacing missing teeth is a comprehensive evaluation with Dr. Chowning.  He will spend time discussing your specific concerns with you in detail.  After an evaluation of your mouth, including high-definition 3D imaging, he can explain the various options available to you with the pros and cons of each.

Unfortunately, none of the various tooth replacement options listed in the previous section is immediate.  They all require some time for planning, initial treatment, and lab work.  That’s why there is no time like the present to get started!

More Questions about Replacing Missing Teeth?

You can also schedule a simple consultation appointment so that you can just visit with Dr. Chowning, get to know him, ask questions about how we do dentistry.  Our goal is to make each patient feel informed and comfortable with every treatment decision they make. Call 940-382-1750 to get started today!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,