Replacing Missing Teeth in Longwood, FL
A beautiful smile can do many things. It can boost you self-esteem, it can open the door for career opportunities you may not have had otherwise, and just maybe…it can help your social life. Depending on how many are missing, and where they’re missing, it can cause many problems. Although it’s unfair, some might think you’re uneducated, or don’t care about yourself if you’re missing several teeth. It can cause your cheeks to sink in, or your lips to pouch out. Facial wrinkles also begin to show up more when a lot of teeth are missing. The REAL damage occurs inside your mouth in ways that can’t always be seen by others, however. Teeth on either side of each missing tooth begin to drift and tilt out of position. The opposing tooth begins to erupt again and drops into the space formerly occupied by your missing tooth. The only thing that maintains the level of bone around each tooth in your jaw is the stimulation of having the roots embedded into the bone. Once that stimulation is gone, the bone begins to dissolve away. When this happens, making a functional denture OR placing an implant becomes a big problem!
On average, an adult in the US is missing about 7 of their 32 permanent teeth, and about 10% of the total population are missing ALL of their teeth. So what are your options?
There are two broad categories of prosthetics used to replace missing teeth:
Fixed prosthetics (this means fixed in place), include fixed bridgework and implants. Fixed prosthetics are more comfortable, more esthetic, and more functional than removable dentures. The drawback is they are more expensive than removable prosthetics. The vast majority of fixed bridges are much like a crown, only there are several of them fused together as a single piece. To replace one missing tooth involves three teeth in the bridge…a crown for the support tooth on either side and then the missing tooth itself. These types of bridges can be used to replace several missing teeth. A new type of fixed bridge called the Monodont can sometimes be done, but ONLY when replacing a single tooth. Instead of attaching to the support teeth on either side with a crown, the Monodont has two little titanium arms that are bonded to the back side of the teeth on either side. Here are some examples:
An Implant is a replacement for your missing root. It’s the closest thing to actually having your real tooth back in terms of esthetics and function. Best of all, it does not require us to involve the teeth on either side of it like the fixed bridgework mentioned before. After a few months of healing then I restore the missing teeth either with fixed crowns or bridges…and on a few occasions, a denture. That’s right! If you have a denture, and you’re tired of it slipping and moving while you chew, ask us about an implant retained denture. When the denture snaps onto a few implants, they suddenly become VERY stable and MUCH more functional.
No Gagging Here, Really! – Have you been told you need one or two crowns, but just can’t stand the thought of those uncomfortable and gagging impressions? Dr. Quevedo has discovered an impression technique that minimizes the length of time the tray is in your mouth. The impression material used with this technique has absolutely no taste. The impression is very small and sets in less than 90 seconds. The large trays that make so many patients gag are not necessary because the impression material is like a fluffy mousse (not runny like many impression materials). This tasteless fluffy impression material can barely be felt in the mouth, so gagging is not experienced. And the accuracy of the technique is unsurpassed in dentistry. For all-ceramic crowns or fillings done with CEREC AC, the impression is ‘optical’ using a high-tech 3D camera! So if you’ve been putting off necessary dental treatment because of fear of gagging, you don’t have to worry any more. We sometimes still need the full arch trays for multiple crowns or bridgework, but for single crowns, this technique is great!
Removable prosthetics, such as either a full or partial denture, as the category implies, come out every night. It is important to remember that dentures are not a replacement of your natural teeth…they’re a substitute for NO teeth. They can and do move when you chew, no matter how well they’re fitted. We take great pains to fit our dentures (both full and partial) as carefully as possible, and can assure you that they will fit what you have to work with as well as is possible. If by chance, your boney ridge is so resorbed that there’s not much for a denture to hold onto, then you’ll probably have difficulty getting good retention no matter what. In cases like this an implant retained denture can be very helpful. If you still have some of your natural teeth and choose a partial denture as your means of replacing your missing teeth, let us show you some of our non-metal options for partial dentures, such as the Valplast, Virginia partial, & CuSil overdenture, to name a few.