When you are missing teeth, your overall quality of life is impacted. In addition to causing unsightly gaps and spaces in your smile, your oral health and function can suffer as well. Today, we will discuss how to fix missing teeth, and explore a wide array of restorative options.
Dr. Todd B. Barsky has years of experience and skill in replacing missing teeth and he helps patients in Miami, FL discover ways to restore their smile and improve overall oral health.
Factors to Consider When Fixing Missing Teeth
There are several factors to consider when exploring treatment options to fix missing teeth. First of all, it is important to understand how many teeth are missing vs how many teeth need to be replaced. For example, if you are missing a first molar, it is more concerning than if you were missing a second molar.
This is because the majority of your chewing function occurs from your first molar, forward. Secondly, it is important to understand the durability and longevity of each treatment option so you can make an informed decision. Some costlier options will last much longer – perhaps even a lifetime – when compared to less expensive alternatives.
Consult with a Prosthodontist
As always, the best way to determine the most optimal solution is to have a consultation with Dr. Barsky. After performing a thorough assessment, he can help you choose an option that will maximize your results and your dental budget.
Missing Tooth Repair by Dr. Barsky
Often called a “flipper”, a temporary denture typically replaces a tooth while the patient is awaiting other replacement options. For example, if a tooth was extracted, but needs to heal before a dental implant can be placed, a temporary denture would be used in the interim period. While a temporary denture is the most affordable replacement option, they are not ideal for long-term use.
Removable Partial Denture
One of the most economical options, a partial denture replaces one or more teeth. This prosthesis may utilize metal dental clasps for greater stability. While they successfully fill in the spaces in your smile, partial dentures do not provide optimal function, as they may move or shift while eating or speaking.
Dental Bridge and Implant
Dental Bridge with Implant
A dental bridge is a single-unit restoration that replaces one to three teeth in a row. In order to place the bridge, the natural teeth on either side of the gap must be reduced. This option provides an aesthetically-pleasing outcome and full function. It must be noted that floss threaders or special brushes may be necessary to properly clean underneath a dental bridge.
Dental implants are universally considered to be the most superior and successful teeth replacement option on the market today. Unlike a bridge, an implant does not require the reduction of neighboring teeth. Therefore, it is a healthier option. Implants also preserve the natural jawbone and prevent bone loss because they act in the same way as natural teeth roots.
Best of all, dental implants have an extremely high success rate, and often last a lifetime with proper care.
What Happens if You Do Nothing?
Of course, choosing to do nothing is certainly your prerogative. Some patients choose not to replace missing teeth due to apprehension or financial concerns.
However, it is important to understand that if missing teeth are not replaced, shifting can occur over time, affecting your bite, your chewing function, and your appearance. Once a tooth is missing, it typically takes approximately one year before other teeth begin moving.
Schedule a Missing Teeth Consultation Today
If you are missing teeth, and would like to explore your treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Barsky. You can call our office at (786) 542-1071 or contact us online anytime.