Many adults are missing teeth for any variety of reasons- lack of dental care in the early stages of their life, finances not allowing them to have extensive dental work done, etc. Sometimes even adults and teenagers are just genetically missing teeth! Luckily, nowadays there are more options than just getting dentures to replace missing teeth.
A dental implant is a great way to replace missing teeth without having to do work to the teeth around the space. First and foremost, local anesthetic is used and ensured that you are as frozen as can be. A small incision is made in the gum tissue, and the gum tissue is moved out of the way so the bone underneath is made visible. Then, using a set of small drills, a hole is made in the bone. A screw (which correlates to the largest size drill used) is then placed into that hole. Stitches are placed, and a small cap is placed on top of the screw so that the gums can heal around it without healing over it (this may save you from having to be frozen for the next appointment). After a 4-6 month waiting period, the healing cap is removed, an impression is taken, and we send the impression to a lab which fabricates a crown. In about two weeks, the crown is placed and "screwed" on to the implant, and you walk out of the office with a brand-new tooth!
Full Dentures with Implants
Do you have full dentures? Do they move around and annoy you? Luckily, there is a way to improve the fit of your dentures. SmileSense works closely with a local denturist, and after a consultation with the denturist, you would come to our office to have implants placed (see procedure above). However, instead of having a crown placed on to the implant, the denturist would make a denture that locks onto the implants. It is still removable, but less easily than without implants, and won't move around and come out while you're talking.
Partial Denture (no implants)
Another option if you're missing a few teeth here and there is a partial denture. Again, you would be sent to see the denturist who would take care of you and your dentures at his office. However, we would still see you for your routine check-up and cleaning.
Bridges will replace your missing tooth while also capping and protecting the teeth on the other side. Often, people have large fillings or broken teeth in front and behind the space where the tooth used to be. A bridge is similar to putting a crown on each tooth, with a fake tooth in the middle. This makes the "anchor" teeth stronger by crowning them while also replacing the missing tooth. The procedure is very similar to a crown appointment. The enamel around the teeth is trimmed down to small preps. An impression is taken and sent to a lab, and temporary crowns are made. About two weeks later, we remove the temporary crowns and cement the bridge.
At SmileSense, our goal is to make you love your smile. Any questions regarding replacing missing teeth can be answered by coming in for a (free) consult. We are always happy to help.