A gap in your teeth is pretty cute at seven — not so much at thirty-seven. Dental emergencies can be especially stressful. Besides the pain and discomfort, victims may feel self conscious and as well as concerned about cost, given the wide variance in dental insurance coverage. But the replacement process is a straightforward one that patients can become easily acquainted with.
Why Tooth Replacement Happens
Tooth replacement can be necessary for several reasons. Teeth may have been knocked out in an accident. Others may have been lost to cavities, attempted root canals or gingivitis. Less often, one may be born without a tooth or find that a molar does not descend.
All teeth are valuable. Even missing one can affect chewing, speaking or spacing of other teeth. This is why dentists and specialists will recommend replacement, even if your missing tooth cannot be seen when you smile.
Options For Types of Replacement
Think about the shape of a tooth. There is the sharp or flat top that helps your bite or grind food. There are the sides which align with the other teeth in your mouth. And there are the roots, the part of the tooth that is deep down into the bone of the jaw.
Single Replacement: Anyone who has lost an adult tooth will be familiar with the empty socket it leaves behind to be filled back in with new gum tissue. A replacement must mimic these roots to be stable. Often, this is done with a screw base, onto which the replacement ceramic crown is attached. It takes about four appointments to get all the pieces in, and once finalized it’s like having a brand new tooth.
Multi-tooth Replacement: The process is slightly more complicated if more than one tooth is missing. Consider having lost all the right side molars. To repair this a fixed bridge will be implanted. The screw bases go at either end of the bridge into the jaw. A temporary bridge may be used at first for immediate relief, and then after a month or two a final version will be attached. These look and feel like real teeth.
Full-arch Replacement: Finally, for the most severe cases that require a full arch, or all the teeth on the top or bottom, to be installed, five implants will be used. These will go at the front curve of the jaw and have a wider bridge eventually attached. This tooth replacement will allow chewing and speaking functions to return.
Whether your replacement needs are big or small, Dr. Ronald T. Hersh Jr. wants to see you smile. Call (610) 865-4222 today to make an appointment at Bethlehem, PA Advanced Prosthodontics.