A missing tooth can make you feel self-conscious about your smile, but missing teeth can impact your health too.
Missing teeth, especially if you’re missing several, can make it hard to chew properly, which can affect your digestion. Missing teeth can also make it hard to form specific sounds — such as /s/ and /th/ — when you speak.
Because replacing your missing teeth can have such a tremendous impact on your self-esteem, oral health, and overall health, it’s important to fully explore all of your options before committing to one.
In this article, Dr. David Blaustein at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics highlights three tooth replacement options available in our New York City office.
Bridges are dental restorations designed to replace missing teeth. Although all bridges “bridge” the gap created by your missing teeth, not all bridges work the same way. Some bridges are permanent, some are removable, and some replace more than one tooth.
The general premise, however, is the same. When you have a bridge, your prosthetic tooth (called a pontic) is supported by two abutment teeth 一 the teeth surrounding your gap. Your abutment teeth receive crowns that hold up the pontic.
Not only are there different types of bridges, but various materials are also available. Bridges can be made of gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain (bonded to a precious metal or non-precious metal), or a combination of these materials.
A dental bridge restores the appearance of your mouth, but it also enables easier, clear speech and improved self-esteem.
Like bridges, dental implants also restore your functionality. But Instead of relying on your abutment teeth to support a pontic, a dental implant is surgically implanted into your jaw. An abutment is attached to the post, and then a crown sits atop the abutment.
The result is a strong, stable prosthetic tooth that looks, functions, and feels like your natural tooth.
Dental implants can replace a solitary tooth, or they can be used in conjunction with dentures to support full arches of teeth. These are called implant-retained dentures.
Although dental implants require surgery to place the titanium post (and possibly to perform a bone graft or sinus lift), dental implants have an incredible advantage over other restoration options: Dental implants prevent jawbone atrophy, a common occurrence with missing teeth.
Your implant stimulates your jawbone and encourages it to keep growing.
Dentures are a traditional solution for edentulism (missing all teeth), but just because they’re the tried-and-true option doesn’t mean dentures lack technological advances. Today’s dentures are made of the highest quality materials.
Here at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics, we offer a variety of dentures, including:
Full dentures might be right for you if you’re missing an entire row of teeth, while partial dentures replace multiple teeth without the need to extract any remaining teeth. We also offer denture relines, yearly exams, denture repair, and polishing.
Replacing your missing tooth or teeth restores your ability to use your mouth properly, speak clearly, and smile with confidence. Tooth replacement also helps maintain the integrity of your facial structure.
That said, not all replacement options are right for everyone. For example, you might not be a candidate for implant surgery if you’re immunocompromised or have specific underlying systemic diseases.
During your consultation, Dr. Blaustein reviews your oral health history, asks questions about your overall health, and reviews any relevant dental imaging, such as X-rays.
Depending on your needs and preferences, he walks you through your treatment plan and highlights which options are best for you.
Don’t ignore a missing tooth. To explore your tooth replacement options, call our Manhattan office or request your appointment online.