From the desk of Dr. Janice Spada, Sudbury MA dentist:
For most of my patients, the idea of losing one’s tooth to extraction or injury is a rather frightening prospect. However, they’re often greatly relieved to discover that they have a number of excellent options for tooth replacement.
Despite the unpleasant effects of missing teeth on one’s quality of life, I hear of many patients who delay treatment for months, sometimes years, falsely believing that dentures are the only available means of replacing lost teeth. Consider the challenges of daily living with one or more missing teeth:
- Speaking naturally and eating becomes more difficult, and the risk of tooth decay increases.
- The patient feels self-conscious around others, fearing they will be judged for their missing tooth.
- Cheeks may appear sunken-in when multiple teeth are missing, making the patient appear much older.
- The remaining teeth, forced to work harder and withstand more pressure, shift and erode. As a result, the patient’s bite is misaligned and may lead to a painful condition called a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
You can imagine the relief one feels when I tell them that they needn’t live any longer with the visible effects of tooth loss. It doesn’t matter whether you are missing one tooth, a few teeth, or all of your teeth. You have options.
Full or Partial Dentures
Most of my patients are familiar with dentures, which in the past were the go-to choice for patients who had lost several teeth. Unfortunately, dentures don’t always receive a fair assessment.
Today, dentures are not the bulky, unnatural prosthetic that sitcoms and old movies would lead you to believe. When dentures are properly fitted and formed to the patient’s mouth, you are less likely to experience slippage, discomfort, and an unnatural appearance.
However, I see more and more patients who are interested in more permanent solutions for replacing teeth.
Dental Bridges Close the Gap Between Missing Teeth
If you have lost several teeth, you may be a candidate for a dental bridge. Each permanent bridge consists of a replacement tooth or teeth, connected at each end by a dental crown.
A dental bridge can be either fixed or removable, depending on the health of the patient’s gums and jaw, and the number of missing teeth. A removable bridge generally costs less than a fixed bridge, but may need to be replaced if the patient neglects his oral hygiene regimen.
Dental Implants Replace One or Many
Whether you lose a single tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants are a promising option. The procedure begins with the surgical implantation of a titanium post into the jawbone, where the root of your tooth would normally rest. Surprisingly, my patients report that this procedure is usually free of discomfort.
After you heal, you will return to my Sudbury dental office, and a replacement tooth will be affixed to the metal post. The procedure works well for patients who have lost multiple teeth, but not necessarily adjacent to each other, i.e., one on the top arch and two on the bottom.
Implants are permanent, and the titanium posts will resist decay. I utilize the iTero scanner to take the necessary digital impressions so that no goop is placed in the patients mouth or gagging occurs. The final abutment and crown that sit over the implant are delivered and patients remark how the process was painless.
Questions about dental implants? To learn more about dental implants in Sudbury, MA, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Janice Spada, contact our office at (978) 443-3111. We are pleased to provide preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry to residents of Framingham, Worcester, Marlborough, and nearby suburbs of Boston.