According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), less than half of adults in the U.S. still have all of their teeth! As we age, the likelihood of loosing a tooth increases. The most significant cause of tooth loss is tooth decay. This is preventable by visiting your dentist in Fort Lauderdale regularly for your dental exam and cleaning. With early detection of dental decay, your dentist can remove decay, restore your tooth and prevent its loss. However, if you are missing a tooth regardless whether it is due to dental decay, trauma, or another reason, Dr. Nancy Rotroff and Dr. Gerard Wasselle of Excellence in Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale can help you replace your missing tooth and restore both the function and the aesthetics of your smile.
When a tooth is lost, tooth replacement is not just about cosmetic dentistry. A missing tooth creates a gap into which surrounding teeth will begin to shift. This will alter your occlusion, or bite, and affect your ability to chew and possibly speak. You may begin to notice larger gaps between your remaining teeth. If you have lower tooth that is missing, the upper tooth above may "super-erupt" or grow further out of the gums thus becoming less stable itself.
When several teeth are missing, it can cause changes to your facial profile. The normal pressure on tooth roots from chewing stimulates bone growth in the jaw. With no tooth or root to stimulate the bone, the bone surrounding the missing tooth/teeth begins to resorb or shrink. The voided space can cause your cheeks to sag or face to look sunken in. This can cause your face to look aged.
Fortunately, whether you are missing a single tooth or all of your teeth, your Fort Lauderdale cosmetic dentist has many options for replacement:
Fixed Dental Bridge : Dental bridges are one option to replace your missing tooth. As the name implies, a fake tooth (a pontic) is fused together with two anchor crowns (abutments) to create a "bridge" spanning the gap left by your missing tooth or teeth. The two or more anchor crowns are placed on teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth and the pontic replaces the missing tooth. The bridge is one solid piece which restores your occlusion, or ability to chew, as well as restores your smile. Your Fort Lauderdale dentist may recommend a bridge if you do not qualify for a dental implant.
Dentures : Complete dentures replace all missing teeth in an arch. You can choose traditional, removable dentures or implant supported dentures, or all-on-four dentures. Implant supported dentures are attached to implants which give them better stability and a more natural feel.
Partial Denture : A partial denture replaces several missing teeth in an arch. The replacement teeth are attached to a base, whether metal or gum-colored, flexible plastic. The partial restores occlusion and prevents teeth from shifting into the spaces left by missing teeth.
Dental Implant : Dental implants have several advantages over other tooth replacement options. They are the most natural-looking, natural-feeling tooth replacement option. They prevent bone loss. A dental implant replaces the entire tooth, the tooth root as well as the crown of the tooth. This restores the normal stimulation created by chewing and prevents bone loss. Dental bridges, partial and complete dentures do not prevent bone loss. Compared to bridges, dental implants do not affect neighboring teeth. With dental bridges, crowns are placed on neighboring teeth. A implant-supported bridge is similar to a regular bridge with the difference on having the abutment crowns supported by implants.
The type of restoration you will need to replace your missing tooth depends on:
Schedule a consultation with the best cosmetic dentist in Fort Lauderdale to discuss which tooth replacement option is best for your dental needs. Call Dr. Gerard Wasselle and Dr. Nancy Rotroff at Excellence in Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale at 954-928-1666. Our cosmetic dentist will take the time to evaluate your individual dental needs as well as listen to your concerns and desired outcome. We will partner with you to restore your oral health and your smile.