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Understanding Your Options for Missing Teeth

What Can I Do About Missing Teeth?

Whether you're missing a single molar, a front tooth, or you have several empty spots throughout your gum line, having missing teeth is never something you should ignore. Not only does an incomplete smile make it more difficult to eat and speak properly, but those empty pockets are susceptible to bacterial buildup that can lead to serious health issues.

While it would be ideal for teeth to grow back, unfortunately, the human body simply doesn't function that way. Fortunately, there are several viable solutions to replace missing teeth, restore your smile, and maintain your oral and overall health.

Why You Should Care About Missing Teeth

Difficulty Chewing

Your teeth play a huge part in helping you chew properly. Without a full set of teeth, you may find it difficult or even impossible to chew certain foods. Not only does this put you at a greater risk for choking but you could also be missing out on essential nutrients if you’re avoiding certain foods entirely.

Difficulty Speaking

In order to form certain sounds when speaking, your tongue needs to be able to position itself properly against your teeth. If you have teeth missing where your tongue needs to be, you will likely find it difficult to form these words.

Bacteria Growth

Without a tooth in place to protect your gums, bacteria can begin growing in the empty space. If left unaddressed, you could develop gum disease that will require more serious treatment. The resulting bacteria growth also has the potential to travel to other parts of your body and contribute to serious chronic illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes.

Options for Tooth Replacement

Removable Partial Dentures

With removable partial dentures, replacement teeth are attached to a gum-colored plastic base, with a framework and clasps or precision attachments that fix the denture into place.

Some advantages to this treatment include:

  • More cost-effective than alternative treatments

  • Do not require oral surgery

Some disadvantages to this treatment include:

  • May look slightly less natural than other treatments

  • The bone underneath your dentures may weaken over time

Full Arch Dentures

If you need to replace a full set of teeth on either your upper or lower jaw (or both) full arch dentures provide a viable solution. Since full arch dentures come in a variety of forms, they provide flexible options for restoring your smile.

Some advantages to this treatment include:

  • Cost-effective alternatives for replacing a full set of teeth

  • Allow you to speak and eat naturally and normally

Some disadvantages to this treatment include:

  • Some full-arch dentures may feel as though they fall out of place

  • Need to be taken out each night and cleaned thoroughly

Dental Implants

The most secure of all the tooth replacement options, dental implants are ideal for patients who are missing teeth due to decay or extractions. This treatment involves fusing metal posts into your jaw bone below your gums and mounting new teeth onto the posts once they are healed.

Some benefits of this treatment include:

  • Last a lifetime when maintained properly

  • Look and feel like natural teeth

  • Securely in place to avoid discomfort

  • No need to alter nearby teeth to support the implant

Some disadvantages to this treatment include:

  • Requires enough solid jaw bone to install implants

  • Requires oral surgery

  • Can be costly

Restore Your Smile in Spring Hill

If you’re missing teeth, don’t ignore the issue. At Dentistry By Design, we offer a complete range of dental services. We have been serving patients across the Spring Hill area for over 20 years, and Dr. Robinette is known for his skill and passion for promoting healthy, happy smiles

Contact us today to schedule a consultation to determine which restorative treatment is right for you!