Posts for tag: missing teeth
Dealing with a damaged or missing tooth? Crowns and bridges can help.
Perhaps you’ve heard about crowns and bridges before, after all they are the most commonly used oral prosthetics designed to restore your smile. If you or a loved one is dealing with a weak, damaged tooth or just lost a permanent tooth, then a crown or bridge might just be the answer you’ve been looking for. Our Framingham, MA, dentists Dr. James Cinamon, Dr. Martin Urban, Dr. Paul Hubley and Dr. Justine Kelley are here to explain.
Do I Need a Dental Crown?
While tooth enamel is extremely durable it isn’t impervious to damage. When an infection, decay or trauma sets in, sometimes the only way to repair and strengthen a tooth is to place a dental crown over it. While a filling can be used to restore a tooth after decay, if decay has taken over a significant amount of the tooth then a filling may not be ample enough to support the tooth. When this happens a crown will need to be placed.
If our Framingham, MA, general dentists have told you that you need root canal treatment, most of the time a dental crown is placed over the treated tooth to prevent further damage. After all, a tooth that is damaged in any way is weaker, which makes it more susceptible to chips, cracks and fractures; however, “crowning” a tooth ensures that it is fully protected and preserved.
Do I Need a Dental Bridge?
If you are missing one tooth or even two teeth in a row but the rest of your smile is healthy then a dental bridge might just be the best option for you. A dental bridge is made up of a metal framework that contains two dental crowns on both ends of the restoration and the false tooth or teeth in the middle. Dental crowns are cemented into place over the two natural teeth that lie next to the gap and secure the false teeth in place. Just like a dental crown, a dental bridge is also custom-made.
Here at Cinamon & Hubley, we believe that every patient in Framingham, MA, should get the proper dental care they need for a healthy smile. No matter whether you just need to schedule a routine cleaning or you want to discuss restorative dentistry options like crowns and bridges, schedule your appointment with us today.
Losing teeth will certainly disrupt your otherwise beautiful smile. It could also potentially affect your food choices and whether or not you receive proper nutrition.
But something else just as consequential could be happening beneath the surface of your gums—you could be losing bone. Significant bone loss in the jaw could adversely affect remaining teeth and facial structure, as well as limit your future restoration choices.
To understand why this occurs we must first consider what bone is: living, cellular tissue. Like the body's other cells, bone has a life cycle: cells form, live and eventually dissolve (or resorb), and are then replaced by new cells. Stimulation from forces generated during chewing traveling up through the tooth roots to the jawbone keep this cycle going at a healthy pace.
But when a tooth is missing, so is this stimulation. This could slow the replacement rate and cause bone volume to gradually decrease. The jawbone width could decrease by as much as 25% the first year alone and several millimeters in height after just a few years.
Although dentures (a popular and affordable choice) can restore lost function and appearance, they can't duplicate this needed stimulation. They even accelerate bone loss by irritating and creating compressive forces on the bony ridges and the gums they rest upon.
One restoration, however, can actually help stop bone loss and may even reverse it: dental implants. This happens because an implant's metal titanium post imbedded in the jawbone attracts bone cells to grow and adhere to its surface. This could actually increase bone density at the site.
To gain this advantage, it's best to obtain implants as soon as possible after tooth loss. If you allow bone loss to occur by waiting too long, there may not be enough to properly support an implant. Even then it might be possible to build up the diminished bone through grafting. But if that's not possible, we'll have to consider a different restoration.
To determine the condition of your bone after losing teeth, visit us for a complete examination. Afterward, we'll be able to discuss with you the best way to address both your overall dental health and your smile.
If you would like more information on treating missing teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”