Do you have one or more missing teeth? You’re not alone. According to the American Dental Association, the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 had decayed or missing teeth.
If the gap left by your missing teeth is out of sight, you may think it’s okay to delay treatment. However, there’s a scary side to avoiding correcting the issue.
One obvious reason to seek treatment is aesthetics – unsightly gaps in your smile could cause embarrassment. However, there are more serious, long-term issues to consider as well. Missing teeth can affect your ability to speak and chew. Additionally, ignoring the issue could result in serious teeth shifting and permanent bone loss.
The good news is there are many treatment options for one or more missing teeth! Dr. Lee specializes in helping patients like you find the right solutions. Depending on your unique situation, she may recommend one of the following options:
What are your options?
Dental implants are considered to be the most natural-looking, longest-lasting solutions for missing teeth. A post, typically made of titanium, is placed in the jawbone and serves as a substitute for the root of the tooth. Your bone will “fuse” with the implant, creating a strong and natural foundation for the replacement tooth. An abutment and crown are connected to the implant.
For patients with several missing teeth, an implant-supported fixed bridge is a strong, long-lasting option. Implant-supported dentures are a comfortable, natural solution far superior to removable dentures for patients who may be missing all of their teeth. In each case, as with individual implants, healthy bone is stimulated and deterioration is prevented.
A tooth-supported fixed bridge is a common alternative procedure. First, the adjacent teeth are prepared (or, ground down) to support the bridge. The bridge will then be attached to those teeth. While a fixed bridge typically costs less than implants, it may not last as long and requires additional maintenance and care.
A bonded bridge has “wings on each side, which connect to the adjacent teeth without much preparation or grinding. A bonded bridge may be a good temporary solution, but will not last as long as an implant or a fixed bridge.
Mini implants, also sometimes referred to as small diameter implants, are smaller and less invasive than traditional implants. We recommend this treatment only for patients who are not candidates for traditional implant surgery.
How can you decide which option is right for your?
Every patient is different and has his or her unique needs. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution for missing teeth. That’s why we make it a point to openly and clearly discuss all of your options so you can feel fully informed before choosing treatment.
If you’re curious which option might be right for your and what costs are involved, schedule a no-obligation consultation with Dr. Lee at 253-941-6365. We are committed to helping you choose a solution you feel completely comfortable with!