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Missing a tooth? Whether you lost a tooth in an accident or had to have it pulled, knowing that one of your pearly whites is missing can be very distressing. It should go without saying, then, that replacing the tooth is extremely important and should be done as quickly as possible. But why is this so critical, and what can you do to remedy the issue? Today’s blog will tell you everything you need to know about dealing with a missing tooth.

Why is it necessary to replace a missing tooth?

Sometimes we come across patients who aren’t fully convinced that they need to do anything about a missing tooth. Being nervous about the possibility of undergoing a dental procedure, they will try to convince themselves that they can “live with” the gap. We wouldn’t recommend this approach.

First of all, the overall aesthetics of your smile are affected significantly. An empty space where a tooth should be will stand out like a sore thumb and detract from your self-esteem. The problem goes beyond beauty, though. A missing tooth can also take away from your oral health. Each of your teeth acts as a place holder for one another. When a gap exists, neighboring teeth may begin to shift. This causes trouble with alignment and detracts from the strength of the jaw.

How can I replace a missing tooth?

If you’re among those who get jumpy when it comes to the idea of replacing a missing tooth, fear not. You’ve got plenty of options, all of which are routine dental procedures and minimally invasive.

Dental Implant

One of the most popular (and most highly recommended) methods for replacing a dental tooth is to introduce a dental implant to the patient’s mouth. Here, a tooth root is replaced and a separately created crown is attached. Both the tooth root and crown are custom made to ensure that the replacement tooth is indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth. It’s important to understand that this particular procedure will require you to undergo a minor surgery. You’ll also need to give your mouth time to heal and your root time to “settle” before the crown can be affixed. This, however, is the most long-lasting and reliable way to replace a missing tooth.

Fixed Partial Denture

Before implants, the standard for tooth replacement procedures was the fixed partial denture — also known as a fixed bridge. Some dentists and patients still select this option. With a fixed partial denture, the teeth on either side of the gap are crowned. These crowns work to support a false tooth (known as a pontic) between them. The pontic will blend naturally with your other teeth, and you will be able to enjoy normal functionality of your jaw and teeth. It is important to carefully discuss this option with your dental professional before making a choice so that you’re aware of all the details. After all, two of your other teeth will need to be altered in order to accommodate the crown. Make sure you’re armed with the facts.

Removable Partial Denture

Your last option is a removable partial denture (RPD), which is comprised of an artificial tooth and a plastic anchor that mimics gum tissue. The RPD is attached to metal clasps that are hooked onto neighboring teeth and it can be taken out for cleaning. This is the most affordable option, but you’ll need to have the RPD checked out frequently to ensure that it’s not causing other teeth to become loose over time and that it still fits properly.

There’s no reason for a missing tooth to hold you back. Dr. Bruce McArthur is more than happy to work with you to find a solution that fits your needs. Give us a call to learn more about replacing your missing tooth today.

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Cosmetic Dentistry 101

by on May 12, 2016 | Posted in Blog

Throughout the years, numerous studies have revealed that an individual’s smile is considered to be his or her most attractive feature. So what happens if you’re not happy with the way your smile looks? Those who are dissatisfied with their teeth and gums are prone to smiling less as the result of feelings of insecurity. Ultimately, this can lead to problems with self-esteem and personal relationships, as well as a reduced quality of life.

The good news is that there’s absolutely no reason why you should have to feel down and out about your smile. Whether time, genetics, accidents, or other causes have contributed to your oral woes, there is a solution: cosmetic dentistry. This post will highlight some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures that are done to enhance natural beauty and create perfect smiles.

Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening or bleaching is, by far, one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures performed today. Throughout the years, your teeth may have become stained or discolored. Different whitening options are available to restore your teeth back to their natural beauty quickly, painlessly, and affordably. Make sure to discuss all of your options with a trusted dentist before moving forward with the process.

Bonding

Those with chipped, broken, or cracked teeth may feel self-conscious about their smiles. Bonding works to improve the appearance of these teeth when tooth-colored materials are applied to the surface of the tooth.

Veneers

Veneers are another great option for people who are unhappy with one or more of their teeth due to staining, chips, crookedness, or irregular shaping. These custom-made shells are designed to match your other teeth and cover up problem areas.

Crowns

A crown works to add strength and support to a weak tooth and/or to improve a tooth’s appearance by acting as a cover. Crowns may be made from gold or alloys, and porcelain options are also available to better match natural tooth color.

Braces

Those with crooked teeth, overcrowding, or poor dental alignment might consider braces. Individuals who are concerned with the appearance of braces should talk to their dentist about Invisalign and similar options.

Dental Implants

When one or more of your teeth are missing, you may be a good candidate for dental implants. Implants are used as a means of replacing missing teeth with units that blend perfectly with other teeth and restore a smile to perfection. Before moving forward with dental implants, your dentist will need to evaluate your dental history to ensure that your oral health is up to snuff.

Bridges

Fixed and removable bridges are available for individuals with missing teeth. The bridge is crafted from materials including gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination thereof. While a fixed bridge is attached directly to the jaw and must be removed by a dental professional, removable bridges can be taken out and cleaned at home. Your dentist will evaluate your oral health in order to help you make the right decision for your smile.

Dentures

In some cases, most or all of an individual’s teeth may be missing, or may be severely damaged and in need of removal. In cases like these, a simple, effective, and affordable solution is to replace natural teeth with dentures. Dentures are custom-made to fit a patient’s mouth and will have the appearance of natural teeth with all of the functionality to chew and talk normally, and to smile beautifully.

Don’t let a less than perfect smile hold you back any longer. Contact Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS about your options for cosmetic dentistry in order to find a solution that’s right for you. Give us a call today to start moving towards a better, brighter smile.

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Dental implants: they’re not just for grandma anymore!
The dental implant market is exploding with a growth rate of 9.7 percent between 2014 and 2020. Why this sudden boom? One major reason is that the materials and technology behind implants are better and more affordable than ever before. This means that your dentist can give you stunningly beautiful teeth that look completely natural and offer comfort and functionality – all on a budget you can afford. The end result is a dazzling smile that will boost your self confidence and leaving you feeling fabulous.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are simply artificial tooth roots that are placed into your mouth. Their primary purpose is to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. In other words, they act as an orthodontic anchor. Your dentist will take care to place the implant with ample time for your implant to ossiointegrate with your jaw’s natural bones. This will keep the implant and replacement teeth healthy and beautiful for many years.  You’ll find that most implants are  made of materials like titanium or zirconium, which can form an intimate bond to your facial structure. Once the dentist has confirmed that the implant has been fully integrated, you’re ready for your brand new replacement teeth or bridge.
Could I Be a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Generally speaking, any person who has lost a tooth or multiple teeth is considered to be a candidate for dental implants. Going beyond this, though, a reputable dentist will look beyond your most basic needs and evaluate your overall oral health. It’s important for you to be in good health in order for dental implants to be truly compatible with your bone structure and allow for a successful procedure. Significant gum decay, uncontrolled diabetes, some cancers, radiation to the jaw, heavy drinking or alcoholism, and smoking can all create problems with the process, but your dentist will be the final judge. It’s important that you keep your dental professional informed about your medical history and any medications that you are currently taking to ensure that he or she has a complete, big picture look at what’s going on with your oral health.  With all of this information at hand, your dentist can make the best decision about your candidacy.
What Types of Dental Implants Are Available?
The where and how of dental implant placement is dependent upon a thorough assessment of your mouth and jaws, and how your teeth function within that space. This involves the consideration of your mouth and bite, in addition to similar details. From here, your dental professional will determine which route to take.
  • Single tooth replacement — Here, an abutment is attached to the dental implant either immediately upon its placement or after a short period of healing. A crown abuts (joins) the implant in order to replace a missing tooth. The crown will have been custom fabricated to match your existing teeth and is cemented or screwed into the abutment for permanent placement.
  • Fixed multiple tooth replacement — This is similar to a single tooth replacement in that a permanent abutment, whether custom crowns or bridgework, is created to match your existing teeth and affixed to the dental implants. This can also help to halt bone loss.
  • Removable implant-supported replacement — If all of your teeth are missing from either the upper or lower half of your mouth, you may need to have numerous implants placed as a means of supporting a denture. For the lower portion of the mouth, two to six implants may be used, whereas the top portion demands no less than four implants. The denture may then have attachments that snap or click into place on the implants. In some cases, a milled bar can be used for added strength.
With the incredible advancements being made in the dental implant sector, there’s absolutely nothing standing between you and the smile of your dreams. Feel free to reach out to Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS, for more information on implants.
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