Patients can experience tooth loss for a variety of different reasons. Some are from factors beyond your control, while others are due to issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and dental negligence. Finding the right ways to maintain a healthy smile can reduce your risk of tooth loss.
Los Altos dentist Dr. Ken Schweifler understands the importance of maintaining a healthy smile. He takes a healthy-centered approach to dental care and only recommends solutions that are designed to improve your overall wellness and function of your smile. As an experienced dentist, he works with you to educate you on your options as well as help you regain your dental health.
WHY YOU NEED TO REPLACE MISSING TEETH
Aside from the aesthetic reasons for replacing missing teeth, there is a range of other reasons for replacing lost teeth. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone begins to deteriorate. When the bone under a lost tooth dissolves, the surrounding teeth begin to shift. Shifting teeth can affect the chewing system and make it increasingly difficult for you to chew comfortably. The presence of shifting teeth and bone loss may eventually lead to additional tooth loss.
So when you leave missing teeth untreated, it can lead to further complications. Early intervention can reduce your risk of extensive bone loss and reduce your risk of additional tooth loss. If you are missing one or more teeth, schedule a consultation with Dr. Schweifler of Los Altos, CA. He can work with you to rebuild lost teeth and restore health and function to your smile.
REPLACING MISSING TEETH
In many ways, a dental implant is one of the most effective solutions for replacing a missing tooth. An implant is designed to replace the missing tooth roots as well as the visible portion of the tooth. Implants are made of titanium, which is a material impervious to decay and tends to be a long-term, effective solution for lost teeth.
A tooth implant can replace a single missing tooth or it can be used to secure a denture or dental bridge for a more secure solution.
For patients missing a full or partial arch of teeth, we can use a few strategically placed implants to support a full or partial denture. Traditional dentures can be uncomfortable, cause slippage, and make chewing and speaking difficult. With implant-secured dentures, your dentures are fixed into place so you can chew, speak, and smile confidently. A denture secured by dental implants is sometimes referred to as “All-On-Four”, which is as few as 4 strategically placed implants that are used to support an entire arch and are fixed into place.
Dr. Schweifler works closely with local surgeons for the surgical phase of the implant procedure. Once the implants fuse into the jaw bone (over the course of several months), he will begin to restorative phase in our Los Altos dentist office.
If you would like to learn more about dental implants or explore your tooth replacement options, visit Dr. Ken Schweifler for a consultation.
Missing Teeth FAQ
What are my replacement options if I’m missing one tooth?
Dr. Schweifler can replace your missing tooth with a dental bridge or an implant-supported dental crown. If you choose a dental bridge, the two adjacent teeth will need to be ground down to make room for the crowns located on both ends of the bridge. A bridge will not prevent bone from occurring. If you choose an implant-supported crown, a single dental implant will be placed into the void and a dental crown will be attached to it. This is the most natural option that doesn’t require damaging any healthy teeth and will prevent bone loss.
What should I do if I am missing all my teeth?
Dental implants are by far the best choice when compared to traditional removable dentures. Dental implants will replace the teeth at the roots to avoid bone loss. Traditional dentures will not avoid bone loss and they are much more unstable. However, it is important to know that dental implants will require a significant investment initially.
Do I have to replace my missing teeth?
If you do not replace your missing teeth, there are many things that can happen that will affect your oral health. The underlying bone will begin to slowly deteriorate, you will not be able to chew certain foods and the surrounding teeth will begin to shift towards the void. All of these issues may affect your bite which can lead to painful TMJ issues. While no one is going to make you replace your missing teeth, it is important to know your health will suffer if you do not.