How Important is Replacing Missing Teeth?

 If you are missing one or more teeth, your dentist on Commercial Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale wants you to know why replacing missing teeth is important. At Excellence in Dentistry our dentists are here to partner with you to achieve your best health.  Missing teeth can have adverse health consequences for your remaining dentition, your diet, your self confidence and your general well-being.  Dr. Nancy Rotroff and Dr. Gerard Wasselle offer several options to replace missing teeth. Schedule a consultation to discuss what option is best for you.

How do missing teeth affect my facial appearance?

Missing teeth ultimately ages your facial appearance. Not only do missing teeth leave unsightly gaps in your smile, but also neighboring teeth often drift into the gap left by missing teeth.  Another deleterious result of missing teeth is bone loss. The pressure of chewing stimulates bone growth in your jaw.  After tooth loss, the bone resorbs into the body.  The gaps left by missing teeth and shrinking of the jaw bone from resorption causes facial collapse.  Facial collapse is the term used when your cheeks sink in and sag and the area around your mouth caves in.  This causes your face to age prematurely. Fortunately, you can replace missing teeth and get a new dazzling smile by visiting the best cosmetic dentist in Fort Lauderdale. 

How can missing teeth harm my health?

Whether you are missing one or several teeth, choosing not to replace a tooth can create ongoing consequences for your oral health as well as your facial aesthetics.  When a tooth leaves a space between neighboring teeth, those teeth will tend to drift into the space causing them to tilt.  This will result in a change in your occlusion or bite and may result in damage to these teeth.  Missing teeth make chewing more difficult and patients may be restricted in their diets due to loss of chewing ability.  It is not uncommon for those with missing teeth will an attempt to consume softer foods because they are easier to chew.  In a report by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, patients with missing teeth "... having the tendency to over-prepare food in an attempt to make it soft thereby loosing important nutrients."  In addition to teeth drifting to fill the space left by missing teeth, the tooth or teeth opposing the missing tooth tend to supererupt, become loose, and possibly be lost. 

Missing teeth can also have great social impact.   Patients may experience changes in speech, loss of self confidence, insecurity regarding appearance, and feelings of loss. Social interactions may become stilted and uncomfortable if you are self concious about smiling and showing your missing tooth or teeth. Fortunately, your Fort Lauderdale dentist has treatment options to help you restore your smile.

What are my options to replace missing teeth?

Dental implants are definitely the best tooth replacement option. Dental implants replace the root of your tooth thus stimulating the jaw bone and eliminating bone loss associated with missing teeth.  Dental implants are a strong foundation for implant crowns, implant bridges and implant dentures. They act and feel like your natural teeth.  With regular at home care and regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist in Fort Lauderdale, your implant can last a lifetime. 

A dental bridge is another option to replace one or more missing teeth in an arch.  Dental crowns, called abutments, are placed on the teeth on either side of the gap left by your missing teeth. These crowns are fused with one or more dental crowns, called pontics, that replace your missing tooth or teeth.  Dental bridges replace your missing teeth, restore your bite and chewing ability, and maintain your facial aesthetics.  Selecting the best cosmetic dentist in Broward County can assure that your dental bridge will blend with your natural dentition.  

The down side of dental bridges is that they do require preparation of the teeth on which the abutment crowns are placed.  Dental bridges typically last 10-15 years with proper brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups. 

Partial dentures are a removable appliance with replacement teeth attached to a frame made of metal or plastic.  While partial dentures do stop remaining teeth from drifting into the space left by missing teeth, they are not the best treatment option to replace missing teeth as they do not prevent bone loss and are often uncomfortable.  They are often used to replace a missing tooth or teeth as a temporary treatment until you are ready for a dental implant or bridge.

A complete denture replaces all the teeth in either your upper or lower arch.  They are a permanent solution to replace your missing teeth; however, over time, bone loss is a problem. Often patients find it difficult or uncomfortable to wear dentures.  Dentures normally need to be replaced every 10-15 years.  Fortunately, with advances in dental technology, implant supported dentures (for example, all-on-4) are a superior tooth replacement option. Because the denture is attached to dental implants, you don't have to worry about bone loss, the denture does not slip or move, and they look and feel like your natural teeth.

 

Dr. Nancy Rotroff and Dr. Gerard Wasselle at Excellence in Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale can help you replace your missing teeth and provide you with a natural looking, beautifully restored smile. Call our office at 954-928-1666 to schedule a consultation to discuss your treatment options today.  Our office is conveniently located at 2480 E. Commercial Boulevard near Lauderdale by the Sea.  We are in network for many insurance companies and accept CareCredit.

 

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