Replacing Missing Teeth
Your teeth affect your whole body. When they’re healthy, you’re healthier too. A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance they will wear out prematurely, or be damaged or lost. You may also experience headaches and/or jaw pain.
Who would want their appearance and health to deteriorate? That’s the natural consequence of missing teeth – the jaw literally melts away. Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss. Dental implants are more easily placed when teeth are first extracted because bone replacement becomes more complex as time passes. The great news? Implants act just like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, oral health and appearance. Your dentist and the implant surgeon will provide you with options so that you can make the most informed decision concerning tooth replacement.
Tooth Replacement Options
You can select from a number of different options to replace your missing teeth – from temporary to long-lasting solutions.
A good candidate is anyone missing one or more teeth, or who is unhappy with their dentures. Age is not a factor. However, smoking, diseases such as diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area, have been shown to lower the success rate of implant placement. X-rays of your jaw will be taken to evaluate whether they will accommodate implants. Detailed x-rays may also be required to determine if other tests or procedures are needed to place implants properly.
A fixed bridge is a connected set of replacement teeth. For support, it is cemented into position on top of the teeth adjacent to the empty space. The protective outer layer of these teeth is usually removed or ground down prior to attaching the bridge.
A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”.
A less fragile option is a removable partial denture cast in metal and plastic. It is held in place by wire clips. A removable partial denture can be removed and reinserted when required by the patient.
The most common solution, for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws are complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape.
Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged. Unlike most bridges, implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.
Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?
There are several reasons: A dental bridge can sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge the space of the missing tooth/teeth. In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
Associated Dental Care of Helena
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Thank you for everything that you have done for myself, family, and friends. You have quite the staff, keep up the good work!
- Casey L
Our Latest Review
My experience at Associated Dental Care of Helena has been a treat. And that's saying something because, you know, it's the "Dentists Office" after all....! My wife had been seen there on several occasions, and when I moved to Helena she recommended that I see her dentist, Dr. Ingrid McLellan, when it came time to do so. Dr. McLellan was a delight to chat with, and was very thorough in explaining procedures and answering the questions I had. Her 'chairside manner' was wonderful, as well as that of her Dental Assitant, Mary. For the implant I'd chosen (to replace a broken tooth), I then saw Dr. Brandon Kiesling. If I'd thought my very positive experience with Dr. McLellan was a fluke, that thought was short-lived. Dr. Kiesling immediately demonstrated a wonderful manner as well, and was also a delight to chat with. Regarding the many technical details of the implant procedure it was reassuring to see that Dr. Kiesling, although a younger dentist, had done this many times before. In fact I would say that 'quiet competence' is what distinguishes the staff here, in my mind, from some other dental offices I've visited. As a patient, this is a great feeling to have. Then one can simply relax, let these obviously very caring professionals do their work, and see how many times you can get them to laugh at your frequently awful jokes 🙂 P.S. - Cleanings with Dental Hygienist Amy have been not only educational for me (down to who's having a sale on the best SonicCare Toothbrush!), but just as pleasant as every other office visit I've had there. Amy has a very tender manner, and touch. Likely, I think, to be quite compatible and reassuring even to those with anxiety about 'going to the dentist'. Great job, Associated Dental Care of Helena! I will recommend you all to anyone I know who is in need of kind, competent dental care 🙂
- Michael C