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Replacing Lost Teeth

Replacing Lost Teeth – Whitby

Replacing lost teeth, due to disease or mishaps, teeth sometimes need to be replaced. Not long ago, removable full or partial dentures were the only option. Although dentures are still used, options now include dental implants. If you’ve lost a tooth or all of your teeth, you may want to consider the following.

Replacing Lost Teeth – Dental Implants

Dental implants secure artificial teeth that may look, feel and function more like your natural teeth. And with a success rate higher than 95 percent, implants are a reliable option for replacing missing teeth.

The most common type of implant is the in-the-bone implant. This involves surgically placing the implant, a screw or cylinder, into the jawbone, which acts as an anchor, or artificial root, for your new tooth.

Your gum tissue is then secured over the implant, which is allowed to fuse with the surrounding bone. This process is called osseointegration and takes approximately one to six months.

After healing of the implant to the bone, an impression is made of the implant, which is used to make a replacement tooth or crown. If you don’t have sufficient bone support to anchor implants, you may need bone grafts on your jawbone before implants can be placed.

Sometimes called sinus augmentation or ridge modification depending on the site, this involves opening your gums and using bone or bone substitute to build up your bone structure. When the new bone hardens, the area is ready for implants.

A more recent type of implant, the small-diameter implant or “miniimplant,” is gaining popularity. Mini-implants are narrower than the standard 3 millimeters for regular implants, so they use smaller anchors in the jawbone.

This type of implant works well for people who have limited bone support for standard-size implants or are not good candidates for bone grafting. Studies show the durability of mini-implants rivals that of regular implants, with a success rate higher than 90 percent.

The odds of implant failure may increase if you smoke or have a disease or condition such as uncontrolled diabetes, which may interfere with your body’s natural ability to heal and fight infection. Implants are significantly more expensive than are conventional dentures. Added charges may or may not be covered by dental insurance plans.

Replacing Lost Teeth – Dentures

Dentures usually consist of an artificial tooth or teeth attached to a gum-colored, plastic base. Partial dentures are used to replace from one to many missing teeth. They’re often held in place by metal clasps that attach to adjacent (abutment) teeth.

Fixed partial dentures or bridges attach permanently to natural teeth adjacent to spaces. Full dentures are removable devices that fit over your gums or over a small number of remaining teeth.

They may be made before tooth extraction and placed just after your teeth are removed or made after your gums have healed.

As your gums shrink while healing, you may need follow-up appointments with your dentist to adjust your dentures. It’ll likely take time and practice to learn to eat and speak properly with dentures.

Be careful when wearing dentures, as they may make it harder for you to feel hot foods and liquids. Also, you may not notice small, hard items in your mouth, such as bones or popcorn kernels. Although some people may never completely adapt to wearing dentures, others experience excellent performance and results.

Whether dentures are right for you often depends on how well you can adjust to wearing them. However, if you have difficulty using dentures, dental implants may be an option worth considering.

Downtown Whitby Dentistry

To learn more about your dental implant options, give us a call today at 905-430-7045. Downtown Whitby Dentistry would love to look after your smile.

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