Restoring Missing Teeth: Your Options

When you have missing teeth, it’s more than just your smile that’s affected. Tooth loss can have negative consequences for your overall oral health. Patients with missing teeth in Chapel Hill, NC, could face dental complications such as tooth shifting and loss of bone density. But there are ways you can help restore your bite. Depending on your oral health and how many teeth you are missing, your dentist may recommend dental implants. However, bridges and dentures can also be effective restoration options for tooth loss.

Missing Teeth in Chapel Hill NC could lead to damage without treatment

Treatment Options for Missing Teeth in Chapel Hill, NC

When it comes to tooth loss, acting sooner rather than later is usually best. While many patients can go weeks or even months without treatment, tooth loss can affect your bite and dental health quickly. When you have tooth loss, especially unexpectedly, you can start to lose bone density in your jaw. Having a gap in your teeth can also make it easier for plaque and bacteria to hide. This could lead to an increased risk of decay. After examining your oral health and discussing your cosmetic goals, your dentist can help determine which treatment option is right for you.

Dental Implants

Whenever possible, most dentists will recommend dental implants for bite restoration. The implant post works to mimic the natural root structure of your tooth. Once the implant integrates into your jawbone, it can help provide additional support and bite strength. A single dental implant can be used to help restore a single missing tooth. Multiple dental implants can be used to help restore a row of missing teeth or an entire arch of missing teeth. 

Although implants have strong benefits, they aren’t always available for treatment. Patients who have gum disease or low jawbone density, for example, may not be right for implant dentistry. Prior to starting treatment, your dentist will do a thorough examination of your oral health to see if implants are right for you.

Traditional Dental Bridges

If you are missing one or just a few teeth, a traditional dental bridge may be able to restore your bite. Traditional bridges use dental crowns on your neighboring teeth to support a row of fake teeth known as pontics. The more pontics a bridge supports, the more pressure there is on your natural teeth. For this reason, a traditional bridge may not be beneficial if you’re missing more than three teeth. 

Partials and Dentures

While implants and bridges are more permanent restorations, partials and dentures are removable restoration options. Dentures are often used to help restore an entire arch of teeth. Partials are typically used for multiple missing teeth in a row. These options tend to be beneficial for patients who struggle to maintain their oral hygiene, as they can be removed for cleaning and maintenance. 

If you’re missing teeth, your entire oral health could be at risk. Call our office today at (919) 551-8847 to schedule a consultation and see which replacement option could be right for you.