Having one or more missing teeth can threaten your oral health and throw off the balance of your smile. Even if just one tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth can begin to migrate and shift out of alignment, causing serious bite problems over time. Tasks like smiling, speaking, and eating can become increasingly more difficult. Everyone’s mouth is different, and no one treatment will work for everyone. Fortunately, there are a variety of different tooth replacement options available to restore patients’ smiles and protect their oral health. Below we have provided some information to help you learn more about your treatment options, such as dental implants. We offer many of these tooth replacement options at Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, so contact us if you’d like to learn more about your treatment options or schedule an appointment today.
At Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center in Indiana, we have several options for replacing missing teeth. If you have a tooth that has been knocked out in an accident or was removed due to decay, we can perform a procedure to replace it so you can regain the full functionality and appearance of your smile. If you live in Indiana or the 46219 area, we invite you to call (317) 790-2555 and schedule an appointment with our dental office. After examining you, Dr. Falender will make a recommendation as to which procedure is likely to provide the best results for your appearance and lifestyle goals.
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.
>> Fixed Bridge
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. If the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth site have never been restored or have small fillings, cutting them down to hold a bridge is an aggressive treatment that can detriment these teeth in the long run.
A bridge is created by securing a dental crown to the two teeth surrounding the missing one. These crowns serve as anchors to hold a gum-colored bridge in place that a new tooth is secured to. This is the most durable, non-surgical solution you can get to replace a missing tooth, because it is firmly attached. Many of our patients prefer this as an alternative to dentures, while being less invasive than implants.
A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”. Being removable, it is easy to lose and hard to impossible to wear when eating.
>> Metal Partial
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. Over time, the bone remodels where there are no teeth and implants and the dentures can loosen.
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. Again, the jaw will resorb over time without teeth or implants and the denture fit will worsen over time.
In some cases, dentures are an ideal way to replace missing teeth. While not as durable or sturdy as an implant or bridge, they do have their place. Dentures are an ideal immediate solution while waiting for another cosmetic procedure. Also, if you have suffered from resorption and do not have any strong, remaining teeth, they may be necessary. In this situation, modern dentistry has made it possible to wear a set of dentures that looks natural and is less likely to fall out of place.
>> Dental Implants
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.
Dental implants can also replace natural teeth. Implants are usually composed of two major parts: the implant, which acts as an anchor in the jaw; and the crown, which is the tooth part visible in the mouth. Implants are excellent options as they do not affect adjacent teeth, yet look, feel, and function just as natural teeth do. Please find out more information regarding dental implants.
In our Indianapolis Dental Office, we understand the importance of choice. We know that when we see 10 people with tooth loss, each of them will have a slightly different goal and their lifestyles will be different. Things like the type of food you like to eat, whether or not you play sports, if you are outgoing and gregarious or prefer to keep to yourself can impact which tooth replacement option is right for you. This is why when you come in for a consultation, we will take time to ask questions and get to know you. Asking about your hobbies and whether or not you work out may seem out of place for a dentist, but everything works together.
For example, if your hobbies involve singing in the choir, dentures may not be a good solution for you because they could pop out of place. Simultaneously, if you like to run marathons, you will need a tooth replacement solution that will not become loose with aggressive impact. After asking you questions and conducting a physical examination, we will make a recommendation as to which option we feel will work best for your lifestyle. If you are a good candidate for all of them, we will let you know that as well, so you can ask more specific questions regarding the procedures and cost involved.
At Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center in Indianapolis, we can give you a well-made and durable replacement tooth, regardless of which option you select. However, if you are looking for a replacement option that looks, feels, and behaves like a natural tooth, a dental implant is the most effective. When completing this procedure, we implant a titanium post underneath the gums and secure it to the jawbone. This serves as a replacement root system. Over the course of one to several months, the titanium and bone will fuse together to create a new root system that is as strong as the original. The process of osseointegration makes it possible for us to give you a sturdy and durable tooth replacement you can count on.
In our Indianapolis dental office, we will then attach a new tooth that has been specifically created to blend in with your surrounding teeth. An implant is the next best thing to a natural tooth. It is important to note that this is a surgical procedure, and in order to qualify, your jawbone will need to have sufficient density. As such, not everyone qualifies for the procedure.
At Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center in Indianapolis, our goal is to provide you with a tooth replacement solution that is beautiful, natural-looking, and will work for your lifestyle. Age, while a factor in healthcare, has less to do with your ideal tooth replacement solution than what your lifestyle is like.
For example, you could be a senior and not want to wear dentures, even though they are common. Regardless of your age, if you lead an active lifestyle, dental implants could be the best solution simply because they are the sturdiest and will allow you to maintain all of your activities. One thing to be aware of, and this does not have to be age-related, is that when you lose a tooth, the process of resorption starts. This is when the body starts to leach calcium from your jawbone and distribute it to the rest of the body. The longer you wait to visit our Indianapolis Dental Office and have the tooth replaced, the less bone density you will have. When you then go to replace the tooth, your options could be more limited. This makes losing a tooth an urgent matter to attend to.
We recommend that you call (317) 790-2555 and schedule an appointment with our dental office as soon as your tooth has either fallen or been knocked out. During your appointment, we will examine your gums, take x-rays, and make a recommendation as to which tooth replacement option will be best suited for your needs. Acting on this quickly will help in restoring your appearance and oral health.
To learn more about dental options for replacing missing teeth, call and schedule an appointment with our Indianapolis dentist office today.