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Michael D. Squire, DDS | Floral Park Smiles | Newsletter in Floral Park

Newsletter

Missing Teeth: What Are My Options?


Missing Teeth: What Are My Options?

You have lost a tooth or teeth due to an accident, infection or other unfortunate circumstance, or your teeth or tooth must be extracted to preserve the health and function of your overall smile. Regardless of the reason for your missing, or soon-to-be removed teeth, you need a prosthetic option.

There are a number of dental prosthetics that can be used to address the issue of tooth replacement. The right one for you will depend upon your unique needs and situation. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with all of your options so that you can plan for your prosthetic placement and aftercare with optimal understanding.

  • Dental Implants: Increasingly popular, dental implants are used to restore a missing tooth or teeth in full. They are comprised of several components that permanently fit together, including a customized crown that caps the implant and perfectly blends with the surrounding teeth. The implant cylinder is placed directly into the jaw and functions exactly as the roots of a tooth. Dental implants are typically regarded as a primary choice when replacing one or several teeth throughout the mouth, especially in highly visible parts of the smile. They provide an unrivaled real look and feel, however they may not be the best option for everyone. Dental implants can be expensive and aren’t always covered by insurance. They do require a basic surgical procedure and at least several months of healing time. Some patients are ideal candidates for dental implants, while others are not.
  • Mini Implants: Mini implants are similar to dental implants, but smaller, thinner and comprised of fewer components. They are a preferred option for patients who are seeking the look and function of dental implants and yet have thinner or weaker jawbones that cannot sustain a full implant. They can also be used in multiples to support dentures. Mini implants are also placed through a surgical procedure, but healing time is usually reduced. Mini implants are less expensive than full dental implants, but also may not be covered by insurance.    
  • Bridges: Bridges are a permanent surface prosthetic that is not rooted below the gum line but still provides an indistinguishable smile esthetic even among the front-most teeth. They are supported by two adjacent teeth, which are modified to fit below two supporting crowns. They can be used to replace one or multiple teeth, provided they are next to one another. Bridges are somewhat similar to crowns in that they are strong and function but do require replacement after every ten to fifteen years.       Unlike dental implants, bridges are frequently covered by most insurance carriers.
  • Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are used to restore the gap created by multiple teeth on either or both sides of the mouth, specifically teeth that are essential to chewing and function but are not in especially visible portions of the mouth. That’s because partial dentures rely upon external framework that holds the prosthetic in place. They are custom crafted to be discreet and esthetically pleasing among your other teeth. Partial dentures are removable for easy cleaning and adjustment. They are fairly economical and often covered by dental insurance.
  • Full Dentures: Full dentures are best used by those patients who need a full row of teeth replaced. Full dentures are custom crafted to ensure a natural appearing result and a comfortable, manageable fit.       Dentures may rest directly on the gum, they may be held in place with adhesive, or they may be permanently affixed with implants. Dentures are also frequently covered by insurance.    

As long as you seek help, missing teeth are not the end of your smile’s beauty and function. The best way to determine the right option for you is to arrange a consultation and learn about all of the advantages and benefits of each dental prosthetic.


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