Avoiding the dentist can allow dental problems to compound, leading to tooth loss. A missing tooth is not only unattractive, but it can cause structural problems in your mouth.
Some patients assume that as long as they’re still able to eat without their missing tooth, that there’s no problem. Dentist in NE Portland, Dr. Travis Agee helps patients understand that just one missing tooth can lead to other oral difficulties. The remaining teeth may begin to drift into the empty space, causing a change in way you bite or chew. It also forces the remaining teeth to carry an additional load which can be damaging, and may cause discomfort or pain.
Our goal at Portland Family Dentistry is to help you enjoy the best oral health possible by providing advanced dental solutions to replace one or more missing teeth.
You may be a candidate for a dental bridge, which is a “fixed” dentistry solution used to replace one or more missing teeth that, like crowns, offer greater freedom than removable appliances or partial dentures.
Fitting a dental bridge usually takes two appointments to complete. Dr. Agee will first prepare the teeth on either side of the space by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. A bridge must be constructed precisely to guarantee a correct bite and to match the opposing teeth, so impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a dental lab. Between appointments, a temporary bridge will be provided to protect your teeth.
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. Good dental care of these teeth is critically important, as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.
Dentures can replace some or all missing teeth. Depending on your personal needs, there are different types to choose from.
- Traditional Complete Dentures – This type of denture replaces all of the upper and/or lower teeth. They are held in place by the natural anatomy of the mouth.
- Overdentures – Giving dentures more stability and a better fit, an overdenture is placed over dental implants and typically “snaps” onto the implants.
- Partial Dentures – Partial dentures are constructed of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases connected by a metal framework. Your natural teeth or dental implants are used as stable supports for removable partial dentures.
The alignment of your jaw will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges shrink due to teeth extraction. All types of dentures will experience wear over time, and will need to be replaced or relined in order to maintain proper function and jaw alignment. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for any changes or potential pathology.
Dental implants are used to affix artificial teeth to the jaw permanently, providing the most natural replacement for missing teeth. There are many applications for dental implants and can be used in a variety of ways to restore function and esthetics. As a premiere dentist in Portland, Dr. Agee has taken many courses on the treatment planning and restoration of dental implants. With success rates so high, it is almost like having your natural teeth back again, and you’ll be so glad you looked into dental implants.
Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, or all missing teeth. They can also be used to support partial or full dentures, providing greater function and fit of the appliance. With so many options, visiting Portland Family Dentistry for an implant consultation can greatly improve your knowledge and ultimately your quality of life.