It will take more than a visit from the tooth fairy to feel better if you have lost a tooth as an adult. Tooth loss not only affects your appearance, but also the health and strength of your smile. Our restorative dentist, Dr. Blevins, offers three ways to restore your smile after tooth loss:
First, let’s take a look at why restoring your smile is so important to your oral health.
Your teeth contribute greatly to the health of your bite and your jawbone. When you lose a tooth, both your bite and your jawbone are put at risk for health problems.
As you probably know, a lost tooth leaves a gap in your smile. What you may not know is that your remaining teeth will naturally attempt to fill that gap, shifting your bite and damaging both the look and function of your smile. Teeth that shift to fill a gap may become loose and even fall out, resulting in more problems with tooth loss.
Additionally, the roots of your teeth stimulate your jawbone. When you lose a tooth, your jawbone senses the lack of stimulation, and your body may absorb the minerals in your jaw to use elsewhere. This can result in jawbone deterioration and even facial collapse.
Now, let’s take a look at the three methods we use at Blevins Dentistry to restore patients’ smiles.
As you might expect based on the name, a dental bridge “bridges” the gap between your healthy teeth, restoring your smile.
A dental bridge is a false tooth held in place by dental crowns on either side. These dental crowns fit over your teeth adjacent to your gap, so the false tooth can fill it.
At Blevins Dentistry, we can complete the dental bridge procedure in a single appointment. We use to plan and place your bridge without having to rely on off-site labs. Our in-house service allows us to restore your smile as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety, quality, or patient care.
One thing to keep in mind with dental bridges is that your false tooth is supported by dental crowns on either side. That means we’ll have to place those crowns on your two teeth adjacent to your gap.
These teeth may be completely healthy, but we will have to file down some of their enamel in order to place the crowns.is irreversible, and it can cause other oral health problems if the teeth in question aren’t subsequently topped with dental crowns.
At the end of the day, the dental bridge procedure is completely safe, but it does involve two additional teeth, so you will want to be certain about your commitment to this procedure. Our restorative dentist will go over all of your options and help you determine if a dental bridge is the best tooth restoration for your case.
A dental implant provides the strongest restoration for both the look and health of your smile.
Dental implants are prosthetic tooth roots made of titanium alloy. We can embed a dental implant into your jawbone to provide stimulation just like a natural tooth root. Additionally, topping the dental implant with an(connecting piece) and a dental crown allows us to restore both appearance and functionality to your smile.
There are a lot of benefits to getting a dental implant to replace your missing tooth. In addition to providing jawbone stimulation, dental implants don’t involve filing down any adjacent teeth or losing any tooth enamel. That means we can save as much of your healthy tooth structure as possible.
However, there are pros and cons to any dental procedure. Dental implants may require more than a single appointment, unlike dental bridges. Additionally, you need a certain amount of bone tissue in your jaw to be a good candidate for dental implants. Although Dr. Blevins may be able to use bone grafting to provide enough tissue, that entails another procedure, increasing your wait time for a fully restored smile.
Our restorative dentist will evaluate your teeth and jawbone to determine whether or not dental implants are right for you.
Snap-in dentures, also known as snap-on dentures or overdentures, snap in place over dental implants. These allow patients who have lost more than one tooth to smile with confidence again.
Unlike traditional dentures, snap-in dentures are stabilized by dental implants. Implants provide a stronger foundation so you can eat, talk, laugh, and smile without worrying about your dentures slipping or falling out. Additionally, because snap-in dentures utilize dental implants, they ensure continual jawbone stimulation and protect against facial collapse.
Because snap-in dentures rely on dental implants for stability, they carry similar advantages and disadvantages to dental implant surgery. However, snap-in dentures typically require two to four dental implants on the bottom of your mouth and four to eight implants on the top. If you’re only missing one or two teeth, snap-in dentures likely aren’t the right solution for you.
Keep in mind that snap-in dentures aren’t permanently fixed in your teeth like a dental bridge or dental implant. Because they “snap in,” you must take them out on a regular basis to clean them.
However, snap-in dentures are a much stronger restorative solution than traditional dentures. If you’re missing multiple teeth, our restorative dentist can help you determine if snap-in dentures are right for you.
Our Mullins, SC, restorative dentist uses dental bridges, dental implants, and snap-in dentures to restore patients’ smiles after tooth loss. Call Blevins Dentistry today at (843) 561-4039, or contact us online for more information.