You might be surprised to learn that, according to the American College of Prosthodontists, more than 175 million US residents are missing at least one tooth, while roughly 40 million are missing all of their teeth. Tooth loss is linked to gum disease, tooth decay, trauma, and wear and tear.
Having even one missing tooth can cause a host of oral health problems down the road, too, which we discuss in detail in this post.
With invaluable years of experience finding solutions for patients with missing teeth, Dr. Ali Saeghi and his team at Modern Age Dentistry approach every patient as an individual, and in a most caring way. We work with you at our locations in West Hills, Atwater Village, and Ojai, California, to determine what’s most important to you as you face filling your gap, and help you weigh the pros and cons of dentures and dental implants.
The risks of missing teeth
Missing teeth — or even one tooth — aren’t just cosmetic problems. They put you at risk for oral health problems as well:
- Speech problems
- Difficulty chewing
- Facial asymmetry
- Self-esteem issues
Fortunately, Dr. Saeghi offers two viable answers for those missing one or more teeth, and he can help you decide which route is more appropriate for you.
Dental implants: What they offer and breakdown of the treatment
Dental implants can be the ideal solution if you’re missing just one tooth, or several that are in different locations in your mouth.
It’s important to know that a dental implant requires a surgical procedure during which Dr. Saeghi places a lightweight metal post made of titanium into your upper or lower jaw. This is essentially a permanent base for your replacement tooth. He then mounts your replacement tooth to the implant.
A dental implant is extremely realistic and durable, often lasting for decades. It’s also completely independent, unconnected to any teeth in the same area, unlike a dental bridge.
To have a successful implant procedure, you need to go into the procedure in good overall health, and prepared to undergo a healing period that can take a few months.
Getting your implant is a multistep process that involves drilling a hole in your bone socket for the titanium post, and allowing up to two months for your jaw to heal and envelop your implant. As the portion of your jaw surrounding your implant heals, Dr. Saeghi attaches a very small post called an abutment to the implant. The abutment will secure your new tooth.
After we create a replica of your bite, we create your new tooth, which is attached to your abutment. A removable denture can also be used.
The advantages of dentures
Dentures are prosthetic teeth that are, again, custom-fitted to your mouth, but the amount of bone you have isn’t a factor in whether you can get dentures. Partial dentures fill a void where just a few teeth are missing, or they can be made to replace all of the teeth on your lower or upper jaw.
Overdentures are an option if we can file your teeth down and use them as a foundation for your dentures. They help preserve bone so the facial droop associated with missing teeth can be avoided.
Dr. Saeghi measures and analyzes your bite and alignment to ensure that any chewing and speech problems are addressed. We take an impression of your upper and lower gums to guarantee that your dentures fit properly, but we also fashion a preliminary set of dentures for Dr. Saeghi to use as he performs any needed tweaks before ordering your permanent set.
Weighing the benefits of dentures and dental implants
Consider these points as you discuss your missing tooth solution options with Dr. Saeghi.
Dentures offer these advantages:
- Caring for dentures is easy — soak them after removal and brush them daily, just like natural teeth.
- Getting dentures is speedy; you can have them the same day you come to see us.
- Some dentures can help you to preserve your present teeth.
- Dentures offer affordability.
- Dentures are realistic-looking.
Benefits of dental implants:
- They stay in place, so your speech is unaffected, and you can eat anything.
- Implants are comfortable.
- Dentures protect the teeth surrounding them.
- They are natural-looking and easy to care for.
- Implants are a permanent solution.
Every patient searches for what’s best for them if they have teeth missing, and Dr. Saeghi is happy to help you make the choice that’s right for you and answer any and all questions.
Call the Modern Age office closest to you to schedule an appointment, or make one online.