When it comes to missing teeth, deciding on the treatment option that is right for you means understanding your options. Missing teeth can affect everything from dental function, appearance and overall health. Choosing a treatment option that suits your lifestyle and supports your overall health is important.
A dental bridge is used to replace a missing tooth by constructing a crown on the adjacent teeth with a false tooth bridged between them. A dental bridge is a good option for patients who could benefit from crowns on the teeth adjacent to the space. Other factors that contribute to the decision to use a dental bridge are overall dental health, desires of the patient and cost. A dental bridge is an effective, affordable and long-lasting solution for a missing tooth.
Dentures or Partial Dentures
A removable prosthesis such as a denture or partial denture can restore appearance and support dental function in the case of multiple missing teeth. A removable denture is an appliance that can restore the appearance of missing teeth. The appliance consists of false teeth mounted on a plate which is attached to the adjacent natural teeth with a wire attachment. The appliance is removable, and must be maintained and/or relined from time to time to ensure a secure fit and function.
A dental implant is the most permanent, natural looking and functioning method of tooth replacement. A dental implant replaces the entire tooth structure from root to crown and once placed, it is 98% likely to last the rest of your life. A dental implant functions just as a natural tooth, making it possible to enjoy the foods you love without worry. Implants cannot decay and do not require the involvement of adjacent teeth.
Missing teeth are a big concern for millions of Americans. In fact, 69% of American adults age 35-44 have lost at least one permanent tooth. More than 25% of Americans over the age of 65 have lost all their permanent teeth.
People with missing teeth often suffer from changes in their bite, difficulties eating and speaking, as well as psychological effects such as decrease in self-confidence and self-consciousness about their appearance.
Dentistry provides a number of solutions that can help replace missing teeth and preserve dental function and aesthetics. Some solutions are dental bridges, partials and dentures. One solution stands out above the rest as the ‘gold standard’ for tooth replacement- dental implants.
A dental implant is the most permanent, natural looking and feeling method of tooth replacement. They are reliable, predictable, and designed to last a lifetime.
An implant replaces the entire tooth structure, from root to crown. This provides an unsurpassed level of stability, strength and aesthetics. In addition, an implant will help maintain the jaw bone in an area that would otherwise shrink away from non-use.
The first titanium dental implant was placed in a volunteer patient by Per Ingvar Branemark in 1965. Since then, dental implants have become the preferred method of tooth replacement. Dental implants have a success rate of 98%. This means, if you have one, it will most likely last you the rest of your life.
A dental implant is a root shaped titanium post which is inserted into the prepared jaw. The titanium metal is biocompatible, meaning that the surrounding bone tissue is attracted to it and will heal right onto the surface of the implant (known as osseointegration), making it extremely stable and solid. Once osseointegration has occurred, the implant can be completed with a porcelain crown which is made to look and feel just like the rest of your natural teeth.
A dental implant cannot decay, and with proper care and cleaning will remain healthy and stable for life. It is important to maintain good personal dental hygiene and to see your dentist regularly to ensure the health of your implant. An implant can still develop gum disease and bone loss from oral bacteria.
Self- Improvement is always a strong theme at the beginning of a New Year. If improving the appearance of your smile is on your list of resolutions, then your Saratoga dentist has what you need to get a superstar smile in 2015.
These 5 cosmetic dentistry treatments can not only make you look better, they can help improve your dental health, too! Read on to find out how you can improve your smile this year.
1. Professional Teeth Whitening
One of the most affordable and dramatic cosmetic dental treatments is professional teeth whitening. Food and drink can stain teeth, causing them to discolor over time. The best way to whiten and brighten healthy teeth is with a professional strength bleaching treatment at your dentist office. The fastest way to whiter teeth is with Zoom®. Zoom is an intense dental bleaching treatment which is performed in the dental office. With this treatment, you can achieve up to several shades whiter teeth in one visit. For whitening maintenance treatments, or for more gradual results, choose take-home whitening kits to brighten your smile several shades over one to two weeks.
2. Porcelain Veneers
Sometimes, even healthy teeth may not look as attractive as you would like. Teeth that are slightly crooked, chipped, misshapen or deeply stained can be enhanced with porcelain veneers. Veneers are a durable and natural looking covering for imperfect teeth. Think of them as a thin, porcelain ‘shell’ which covers the natural tooth, enhancing the appearance of your smile. Veneers are usually used on the front 4-6 teeth, which are most visible when you smile. Porcelain veneers are used only on teeth which are healthy except for cosmetic imperfections. They are one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments because of the dramatic results they provide.
3. Dental Implants
Missing teeth can have a big impact on your quality of life as well as your appearance. Replacing teeth with dental implants improves both dental function and appearance. Unlike dentures and partials, implants replace the tooth root as well as the crown, providing the strongest, most long-lasting and natural tooth replacement option available. With her attention to detail and aesthetics, Dr. Kathleen Ban creates beautiful dental implant restorations that are made to last. The best thing about dental implants, beside looks, is that your ability to eat, laugh and smile without worry is restored.
4. Invisalign™ Clear Aligners
When it comes to straightening teeth, many people are turned off by the thought of wearing traditional, metal braces. With frequent orthodontist visits, dietary restrictions and aesthetic concerns, patients with crooked or misaligned teeth often choose to accept an imperfect smile. The fact is, teeth which are misaligned are more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Straightening teeth with Invisalign is an attractive option, because the orthodontic appliance is nearly invisible while worn. In addition, it can be removed for meals and personal dental hygiene, so there is no interference with your lifestyle. Complete results are usually achieved within 6-12 months, and the clear aligners require fewer office visits. Each clear aligner is worn for about 2 weeks before you replace it with the next in the series. In a matter of weeks, you will begin to see straighter, healthier teeth.
5. Tooth-Colored White Fillings
Although dental fillings are used to repair decayed teeth, they can be considered a cosmetic dental procedure. Tooth-colored fillings, such as those available at Park Saratoga Dental, blend into the surrounding tooth structure, making them virtually invisible. Unlike traditional metal fillings, white fillings are made from a composite material which contains no mercury. The color and texture blend perfectly with your healthy tooth structure, making your dental repairs a secret to everyone except you.
For more information about cosmetic dentistry procedures and treatments, contact the team at Park Saratoga Dental for a personalized consultation appointment.
Make 2015 your year to achieve the beautiful smile you want.