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Don’t Let Missing Teeth Take Your Smile Away

A missing tooth, or several missing teeth, not only hinders your ability to properly chew food, but it takes away confidence. The good news is you have a lot of restorative dentistry options when it comes to missing teeth. Whether it’s a single implant, implant bridge, prettau bridge, or removable prosthesis, we’re going to find a solution that gets you eating your favorite foods again, and smiling with new confidence.

Single Tooth Implant

If you’re missing one or more teeth a single tooth implant can be used. An implant is surgically placed in an opening where the tooth should be placed in your jawbone. After the implant integrates to your bone, it acts as a new root for the crown that replaces your missing tooth. The crown, which is made to look like a natural tooth, is attached to the implant and effectively acts like a new tooth. For the procedure to work, there must be enough jaw bone available for the implant, and it must be strong enough to hold and support the implant.

  • The implant – consists of several parts. The implant is made of titanium. The abutment can be made of titanium, gold, or ceramic material. This part connects the implant to the crown. It’s attached to the implant with a screw. It is shaped like a natural tooth that has been designed to receive a crown. The third and final part of the implant is the crown. It’s usually made of porcelain fused to a metal alloy or ceramic material. The crown gets screwed or cemented onto the abutment.
  • The Implant Process – The time frame for completing a successful dental implant depends on a few things. When the traditional method of placing an implant is used, the shortest time frame is usually four months in the lower jaw and five months in the upper jaw. The process could last a year or more, if bone needs to be built up first.
  • Initial Consultation – Before any work is done there will be a comprehensive examination. During the exam, we will review your medical and dental history, take X-rays, and create impressions of your teeth and gums so models can be made. In some cases, a CT scan of your mouth will be needed to determine how much jawbone is available to hold the implant in place. The scan also reveals the location of structures such as nerves and sinuses so they can be avoided during surgery.
  • If your X-rays or CT scan show that your jaw does not have enough bone to hold an implant, options for building up bone can be discussed. These may include bone grafting or bone distraction. Grafting involves taking bone from another source and adding it to your jaw. It could come from your mouth, chin or hip. Cadaver bone can also be used. Synthetic material is also an option. Bone distraction is a surgical procedure at the site where more bone is needed. It causes the body to grow more bone by slowly pulling apart existing bone using pins and screws. If you need either procedure it may take 4-12 months for the bone to be ready for the implant.

Implant Bridge

An implant-supported bridge is another option for replacing missing teeth. They are typically used when you have more than one tooth missing. In most cases, when an implant supported bridge is used, one implant is placed in the jawbone for each end of the bridge as opposed to having a complete implant at each site.  Crowns are connected to each other to form one piece.  Bridges may be used when there is concern that you might put too much pressure on individual implants that are not connected to each other. An implant-supported bridge reduces the pressure on the individual implants and spreads it across the entire bridge.  It also reduces the total number of implants needed to restore an area of your mouth when missing three or more teeth in one segment.

Traditional Dental Bridges

Traditional bridges are the most popular kind of bridge. The bridges consist of one or more pontics (fake teeth) and are held in place by abutments. Abutments are cemented onto the teeth adjacent to your missing teeth. Traditional bridges can be used when you have natural teeth on both sides of the gap created by a missing tooth or teeth.

Prettau Full Mouth Bridges

A Prettau implant bridge is a great alternative to dentures. The dental bridge is supported by dental implants. The artificial teeth are made from zirconia, an incredibly sturdy and natural-looking material. The best candidates for Prettau implant bridges are people who are missing multiple teeth. Patients should have sufficient jawbone and gum tissue structure in place to support the bridge. Compared to dentures that rest directly on top of the gums, a prettau implant is much more secure and adds stimulation to gums and jawbone to keep them strong and healthy.  The bridge is slip resistant as it’s attached firmly to the implants.

Dentures

Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. Today’s technology has made dentures more natural looking and comfortable than ever.  With full dentures, a flesh-colored acrylic base fits over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the roof of your mouth, while the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue. Dentures are custom made in dental laboratories from impressions taken of your mouth. Dr. Hemphill will then determine which of the three types of dentures is best for you.

  • Conventional Full Dentures – Conventional full dentures are placed in your mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed.
  • Immediate Full Denture – Immediate full dentures are inserted immediately after the remaining teeth are removed. They will need to be relined several months after being inserted, because the bone supporting the teeth reshapes as it heals, causing the denture to loosen.
  • Partial Dentures – A partial denture rests on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Sometimes crowns are placed on some of your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges.

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