Treatment for Missing Teeth

June 24, 2016 — by Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky
Tags: Restorative Dentistry Dental Implants Dental Bridges Dentures

An illustration of a dental implant, abutment, and restorationPatients can have missing teeth for a number of reasons. Perhaps you have neglected your oral health, and a tooth has been lost to tooth decay, gum disease, or a root canal infection. Maybe you were involved in an auto accident or suffered a sports-related injury, which resulted in tooth loss. Or, one or more of the permanent teeth may never develop, a common congenital malformation. Whatever the cause of your missing teeth, Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky can provide treatment to improve your dental function and appearance. We offer dental implants, which are the gold standard in tooth replacement, or we can place traditional bridges or fit you with custom dentures to replace your missing teeth. To learn more about your treatment options for missing teeth, contact our Edmonton, AB practice today.

A Single Missing Tooth

When it comes to tooth loss, patients have a number of treatment options to choose from. If you are missing a single tooth in one quadrant of the mouth, you have two treatment options:

  • A traditional bridge: A traditional bridge is the most common tooth replacement treatment in this case. The traditional bridge consists of an artificial tooth that is sandwiched between two dental crowns. The crowns are placed over the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth.
  • A dental implant-supported crown: A dental implant-supported crown requires a surgical procedure to place the dental implant within the jawbone. This oral surgery procedure is followed by a three- to six-month healing period during which the implant integrates with the surrounding oral structures. Once healing is complete, a custom crown can be attached to the dental implant.

Multiple Missing Teeth

If you are missing multiple teeth, you have even more treatment options. You can opt for a traditional or implant-supported dental bridge or denture. Let’s explore these options in more detail:

  • Dental bridges: Dental bridges can be used to replace multiple, consecutive missing teeth. If you are missing two to three teeth in a row, a dental bridge may be right for you. If you wish to avoid surgery and have a traditional bridge placed, the prosthetic replacement teeth will be attached to two crowns, which will be placed over your adjacent remaining teeth. Or, the bridge can be secured with dental implants, which are rooted within the jawbone.
  • Dentures: If you are missing all or most of your teeth, dentures are the best tooth replacement solution. Traditionally, dentures stay in place using a combination of a custom, well-fitted denture, along with suction and dental adhesives. For a more secure hold, dentures can be attached to dental implants, which are surgically placed in the jawbone.

Traditional vs. Implant-supported Restorations

Traditional bridges and dentures offer a number of benefits: they are less expensive, do not require surgery, and allow for immediate placement of restorations.

However, they do not address jawbone degradation, which is a common side effect of tooth loss. Because the tooth roots no longer stimulate the jawbone, the body stops sending nutrients to the area, resulting in jawbone deterioration and facial collapse. These effects worsen as more teeth are lost. Dental implants replace the tooth roots and prevent jawbone degradation. In addition, dental implants offer a stronger and more secure hold for restorations.

To find out which treatment for missing teeth is right for you, contact Dr. Podilsky’s practice today.