It's a serious dental condition that affects the function, health, and appearance of your smile. Missing teeth can make it difficult to eat the foods you enjoy, can cause surrounding teeth to shift out of place, and leave noticeable gaps in your smile. For these reasons and more, it is important that patients with missing teeth undergo restorative dentistry treatment as soon as possible to prevent further dental problems.
Non-surgical Treatment for Missing Teeth
Non-surgical treatments for missing teeth are less invasive and less costly, making these solutions ideal for many patients. The non-surgical treatments for missing teeth include:
Traditional Dental Bridge
A traditional dental bridge can be used to replace a single missing tooth, or up to three consecutive missing teeth. The bridge, which is also called a pontic, is the prosthesis that is custom designed to replace the missing tooth or teeth. Typically made of porcelain, it mimics the appearance and color of your natural teeth so it blends in with surrounding teeth. In most cases, the bridge is attached to two crowns on each end. The crowns are placed on the teeth adjacent to the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth. Once the crown is cemented into place, the bridge fills in the space caused by tooth loss.
Traditional dentures can be used to replace multiple missing teeth, or all of the teeth in the upper or lower arch. The replacement teeth are attached to an acrylic base, which is designed to look like your natural gum tissue. This base fits over your gum tissue, using a combination of suction and dental adhesives to hold it in place.
Surgical Treatment for Missing TeethSurgical treatment for missing teeth involves the use of dental implants, which are implanted in the jawbone, acting as a replacement for the tooth's roots. Once the implant has integrated with the surrounding jawbone and ligaments, it can act as an anchor for three types of restorations: crowns, bridges, and dentures.
A dental implant-supported crown is used to replace a single missing tooth. Once the implant is in place and the surrounding tissues healed, a single porcelain crown is attached, replacing the missing teeth and restoring the patient's oral function, health, and appearance.
An implant-supported bridge can be used to replace consecutive missing teeth. In this case, one or more dental implants can be placed to anchor the bridge prosthesis in place. Because the implants and replacement teeth do not need a 1:1 ratio, we can place fewer implants than replacement teeth.
Implant-supported dentures are frequently used to replace all of the teeth in the upper or lower arch. In many cases, as few as four dental implants per arch can be placed to support a denture.
Dr. Matthew Mastrorocco and Dr. Cervone offer effective treatment for missing teeth. To find out which treatment is right for you, contact our Hilton Head Island office today, (843) 682-4601.