Replacing Missing Teeth
Options To Replace Missing Teeth
Your teeth affect your whole body. When they’re healthy, you’re healthier too. A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance they will wear out prematurely, or be damaged or lost. You may also experience headaches and/or jaw pain.
Who would want their appearance and health to deteriorate? That’s the natural consequence of missing teeth – the jaw literally melts away. Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss. Dental implants are more easily placed when teeth are first extracted because bone replacement becomes more complex as time passes. The great news? Implants act just like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, oral health and appearance. Your dentist and the implant surgeon will provide you with options so that you can make the most informed decision concerning tooth replacement.
Tooth Replacement Options
You can select from a number of different options to replace your missing teeth – from temporary to long-lasting solutions.
A good candidate is anyone missing one or more teeth, or who is unhappy with their dentures. Age is not a factor. However, smoking, diseases such as diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area, have been shown to lower the success rate of implant placement. X-rays of your jaw will be taken to evaluate whether they will accommodate implants. Detailed x-rays may also be required to determine if other tests or procedures are needed to place implants properly.
A fixed bridge is a connected set of replacement teeth. For support, it is cemented into position on top of the teeth adjacent to the empty space. The protective outer layer of these teeth is usually removed or ground down prior to attaching the bridge.
A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”.
A less fragile option is a removable partial denture cast in metal and plastic. It is held in place by wire clips. A removable partial denture can be removed and reinserted when required by the patient.
The most common solution, for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws are complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape.
Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged. Unlike most bridges, implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.
Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?
There are several reasons: A dental bridge can sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge the space of the missing tooth/teeth. In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
BEFORE AND AFTER GALLERY
Cosmetic and Family dentist in Seattle, WA
Kim’s teeth had been both victim of neglect and dental fear. She was read to have her smile back. As we progressed through her treatment, Kim’s confidence grew, and her gorgeous new smile says it all!
Kim finally built up the courage to visit our office during the start of the pandemic. Her emotional story of fear and poor dentistry was presented with honesty and commitment and demanded our attention. We reviewed her x-rays and diagnostics along with leveraged compassion, care, and dental expertise to create a smile that left everyone filled with joy. We don’t fix teeth; we fix patients. In Kim’s case, we were able to not only improve her smile, but eliminate her dental fears!
Craig’s teeth were damaged from years of clenching and grinding due to stress. We came up with a plan to restore Craig’s smile and self-esteem!
Craig’s teeth suffered from years of neglect, resulting in a significant number of cavities, and punishing results of clenching and grinding (bruxism), especially at night. We sat down for a one-on-one consultation to develop a custom plan with the goal of restoring his smile and maintaining it for long-term success. Craig’s commitment and enthusiasm spread throughout our team as we custom-built his plan. His treatment resulted in a cosmetically pleasing, functional smile that was designed to resist any future stresses from bruxism.
Dr. Aranka gave a lifetime commitment to his patients and community but did not give himself a lifetime of care for his oral health. We created a fabulous smile for him, and he shows it to us every day!
Dr. Aranka is a retired local physician who stepped through our doors. He was unhappy with his smile and the condition of his oral health. He was tired of quick fixes that ultimately did not last. We sat together in the consultation room and outlined a vision for a long-term solution that would give him a healthy, functioning, and aesthetically pleasing smile. Dr. Aranka now comes in every day smiling and thankful for what our team has provided him.
Marco didn’t like his smile but didn’t know what to do about it. Our initial consultation included examples of what could change, and now Marco couldn’t be happier with his smile!
Marco recently semi-retired from his career in commercial real estate. He’s always been a bubbly, funny man but always seemed to have a reservation about his smile. One day I asked Marco if he liked his smile, and he said he didn’t. So I invited him to a consultation and showed him all the changes that could be made aesthetically, from his gum line to coloration to lip support. We did a little recontouring for his lower arch, light dentistry for his upper arch, and a tooth bleaching, and Marco is now thrilled to share his smile.
Alexa didn’t like how her teeth looked and was ready for a smile transformation. She had overcome major life obstacles and was ready for a smile to match her new life. After neglecting her dental health for over 10 years, she made the brave decision to visit our office for a consultation.
Alexa and I discussed her smile goals and treatment options for long-term success. She put her full trust in us and completed multiple procedures including crown lengthening, implants, and full mouth reconstruction. As her treatment progressed, her confidence grew dramatically! We completed Botox and lip/cheek filler to enhance her already beautiful features and she could not be happier with the final results. Alexa is no longer scared of the dentist and her smile lights up any room she walks into!
“Dr. Chilton and his team just make you feel like you’re a part of the family”
“The process was exceptional”
“Dr. Chilton was patient, confident and enthusiastic.”
“When I came here, I knew this was the place for me.”
“You don’t feel like a number, you feel like a patient.”
“What makes Olympic View Dental different from most dentists, is that they don’t have Dr. Chilton…”