Replacing missing or extracted teeth is essential for the patient’s health and confidence. Dr. James Furgurson and Dr. Nathan White work one on one with patients who suffer from missing teeth. They will take the time to evaluate the patient’s current oral health and goals before suggesting the best solution for them. Chapel Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is currently welcoming patients from Durham, NC who are looking for a solution for their missing teeth.
The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
You may not realize it, but even one missing tooth can lead to serious oral health complications and physical health problems. Once a tooth is lost, the underlying bone will begin to deteriorate. The jaw bone relies on teeth roots to provide it with stimulation. Without the roots, bone resorption is inevitable. Bone loss in the jaw will cause the mouth to sink into the face, the chin to jut out further and deep wrinkles to form around the mouth. These facial feature changes will make a person appear much older than they really are.
Also, gaps along the arch will cause the remaining teeth to shift. Teeth actually help each other remain in proper position. When one of these place holders is suddenly gone, the surrounding teeth will move towards the gap. Missing teeth and the misplaced teeth along the arch will make it difficult to properly clean the remaining teeth. Because of this, the patient is now more susceptible to gum disease, tooth decay and even additional tooth loss.
Aside of from the health repercussions of missing teeth, a patient can also suffer from serious self-esteem issues. This can lead to a patient being too embarrassed to speak or eat in front of other people. Overall, between the embarrassment and health problems, missing teeth can affect a patient’s quality of life.
Treatment Options for Missing Teeth
- Dental bridges – A dental bridge is used to replace one or two missing teeth. This is a fixed dental restoration that can only be removed by a dentist. A bridge is made up of two dental crowns located on each end with the replacement tooth located in the middle (the pontic). The dental crowns will be attached to two teeth on each side of the gap. These adjacent teeth are prepared and grinded down before the bridge is fixed into place.
- Dentures – When all or most of an arch of teeth are missing, the dentist will use dentures to help restore function and aesthetics. A denture ia a common dental restoration that has been used for many years. Traditional dentures are removable and are not capable of restoring full function to your teeth but are much better than not replacing the teeth at all. While you will have to follow a strict diet, they will help return aesthetics to your smile.
- Dental Implants – This is the only permanent solution for tooth loss. A dental implant is a metal post that is surgically placed in the jaw bone to support the replacement teeth. Even though this is the most costly option, it offers more health befits and a better quality of life. This is the only solution capable of halting the deterioration of the underlying bone. The implants will act as replacement tooth roots to prevent bone loss. Dental implants offer patients the best solution for tooth loss because they function, looks and feel like natural, healthy teeth. Dr. Furgurson and Dr. White offer full services for dental implants at their dentist office near Durham, NC.