When you lose a tooth, you may think of the way it affects your appearance, or maybe you struggle with difficulty eating foods you enjoy. Missing one or more teeth can have a much larger impact on your oral health (and your looks) than you realize. At 5 Mile Smiles, we offer dental implants, dental bridges and dentures to restore a full smile to our patients in the Spokane area.
Why You Need to Replace Missing Teeth
In the first year alone, one missing tooth can completely alter your bite and cause your jawbone to degrade. Your remaining teeth will shift to close the gap from the missing tooth (or teeth), creating a host of other issues. Your jawbone relies on consistent pressure from the missing tooth root. Without that stimulation, it will recess or shrink, altering your facial shape to appear sunken or hollow.
Missing one tooth often leads to additional tooth loss — the sooner you replace it, the better your oral health and overall smile. Restorative dentistry measures now will save you costlier procedures down the line.
Replace That Missing Tooth with a Dental Implant
Dental implants are the closest artificial tooth option to your natural teeth. A titanium post is placed in the jawbone beneath the gums to replace the missing tooth root. Once your mouth heals, an abutment is connected to the post along with a dental crown that’s made to match the shade and shape of your neighboring teeth.
Replace Multiple Missing Teeth with a Dental Bridge
Dr. Keefe offers several options for dental bridges. With conventional fixed bridges, your artificial tooth (called a pontic) is anchored in place by two dental crowns placed on the teeth on either side of the gap. A cantilever bridge is similar and sets the pontic with two dental crowns next to each other. The Maryland (or resin-bonded) bridge uses two metal wings or clasps on the adjacent teeth to hold the artificial tooth in place. These restorations are fixed in place so you can smile, speak and eat without worrying your artificial teeth will slip or shift.
With the CEREC system, Dr. Keefe can provide same-day dental bridges that restore your entire smile in a single appointment. The CEREC system captures detailed images of your mouth that are used to design the bridge. Your dental bridge is milled from high-quality porcelain, and advanced computer software allows Dr. Keefe to place the bridge for a precise fit. You don’t have to worry about uncomfortable, temporary restorations with same-day dental bridges.
Dentures Can Restore Your Full Smile
For people who are missing multiple teeth, dentures are another option. Dr. Keefe specializes in providing implant-supported dentures. These dentures use advanced materials and technology to achieve a more realistic look and feel than previous denture options. The artificial teeth clip onto dental implants in your mouth, providing a secure fit that lets you eat and speak without issues.
Learn More About Your Restorative Dentistry Options
Dr. Keefe will perform a thorough examination to determine which route is best for replacing your missing teeth. Schedule your dental exam at 5 Mile Smiles in Spokane today at (509) 326-2621.