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Treatment Options for Replacing Missing Teeth

By Pamela Li, in Articles, on October 14, 2012 | Comments (0)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO — Replacing one or more missing teeth, whether they were lost due to injury, trauma, cavities or heredity, is more accessible than ever.

“Your teeth work together to help you chew, speak and smile,” said Ottawa cosmetic dentistry professional Dr. Pamela Li. “When one or more teeth go missing, it compromises esthetics and function. Tooth loss can also cause your bite to shift and your face to look older. Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions to replace missing teeth.”

The most common methods of replacing missing teeth are a bridge, dental implant and implant-supported dentures. As with all things, each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, said the porcelain veneers provider.

The type of replacement option used depends on the amount of bone you have, the number of healthy adjacent teeth and your overall health and age.

Bridge
This involves the dentist trimming down the surrounding teeth, taking a mold and making a bridge across the area where the tooth is missing. This is a restoration that replaces or spans the space where one or two teeth have been lost. The bridge is commonly bonded to surrounding natural teeth and the missing tooth is replaced with an artificial tooth to restore function and strength.

“This is a good option for people who have adjacent teeth that are broken down but have strong roots and bone, as the bridge relies on the adjacent teeth for support,” said Dr. Li.

Dental Implants
A dental implant is a lot like your natural tooth, which has a root in your jawbone, topped with a crown. To insert an implant, a surgeon will insert a titanium post beneath your gum and into your bone. Your dentist will then make a replacement crown that will attach to the post and blend in with the rest of your teeth.

“Dental implants look and feel like your natural tooth and are secure and stable,” the teeth cleaning professional said. “They are a long-term solution to replacing your missing teeth and are ideal for preventing shrinkage of the jawbone after tooth loss.”

Implant Supported Dentures
An implant-supported denture is different from traditional dentures, as this type of denture is attached to implants for additional retention. These dentures are ideal for patients who need extra stability, but with enough bone in the jaw to support implants. These dentures are snapped into place using special attachments on the implants.

Implant-supported dentures are usually made for the lower jaw, as traditional dentures are not as stable there. However you may opt for upper and lower implants. There are two types of implant dentures: fixed or removable. With either option the prosthesis will be made of an acrylic base that looks like gums. Porcelain or acrylic teeth are attached to the base and look like natural teeth.

With a fixed denture, the teeth are fitted to a frame that is secured to the implants. Four or more implants are placed along the contour of the jaw and the prosthesis is stable.

“Implant-supported dentures are not removable by the patient and because the implants are attached to posts that are integrated to the bone, they are very solid,” said Dr. Li, the Ottawa dentist.

With a removable denture, the teeth are joined to the implants by a connecting device such as three to four clips over a bar or by nylon rings that snap on to special attachments called the locator on the implant.

“I like the locator abutments because there are different strengths of nylon rings,” said Dr. Li. “They can be customized to the patients’ needs, like if they need more or less retention. Generally, only two or four implants are placed.”

Which option you choose- a dental implant, implant-supported dentures or a bridge- will depend on many factors. It is recommended that you find a dentist who is experienced in replacing missing teeth to discuss your options and find out which treatment will suit you best, said Dr. Li.

© 2012 Master Google, Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization is granted, with the stipulation that Dr. Pamela Li and Master Google are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this press release is strictly prohibited with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Using Cosmetic Dentistry to Fill Gaps, Fix Chips and Replace Missing Teeth

By Pamela Li, in Articles, on September 5, 2012 | Comments (0)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – From overhauling your smile to minor repairs, your dentist can perform a wide range of procedures to improve your smile. Using cosmetic dentistry, there are many options for people with discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing teeth, but how do you know which treatment is right for you?

Dr. Pamela Li, a provider of dentistry in Ottawa, is sharing with patients the types of procedures available, their purpose and their applications to guide patients in making the right decision.

Missing Teeth
Replacing a missing tooth not only restores your self-confidence, but also prevents progressive dental problems from occurring when teeth are left untreated, says Cosmetic Dentistry pro in Ottawa. Problems often associated with missing teeth include:

  • Neighboring teeth may shift and cause alignment issues
  • Difficulty chewing and speaking
  • Adjacent teeth can wear prematurely
  • Remaining teeth are more prone to gum recession and gum disease, as plaque can accumulate on surrounding teeth
  • The jawbone can shrink and deteriorate to fill the gap created by the root of the lost tooth

The most effective methods for restoring missing teeth are dental implants, a dental bridge or dentures, as the family dentist believes.

Implants are a permanent solution to replacing missing teeth and are better suited for patients with sufficient jawbone structure, which is needed to support the implant. Dental implants act as the root for the missing tooth. It consists of a dental crown placed on top of a titanium post that is permanently anchored to your jawbone. Implants will preserve bone and there is no detrimental effect on the adjacent teeth.

Bridges are used to replace a span of one or two missing teeth. Ideal candidates have natural teeth on either side of the gap that are healthy enough to support the placement of the crowns and attached bridge. The bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth suspended from a bridge that is anchored to the neighboring teeth.

Dentures are removable dental appliances that replace missing teeth. Unlike implants and bridges that are permanently affixed to the supporting bone or teeth, dentures are prosthetic teeth that are removable from the mouth. Dentures may be removed at night for cleaning or as desired. While not the most ideal form of treating missing teeth, they are the least costly option.

Spaces Between Teeth
Unlike missing teeth, spaces between teeth do not affect a patient’s oral health, rather they affect their emotional well-being, making them self-conscious and uncomfortable in most situations, believes Li, who is a Downtown Ottawa dentist.

To correct gaps between teeth, dental bonding or dental veneers are the best treatment options available. Which treatment is right for you will depend on the extent of your gap or gaps, as well as your aesthetic desires.

For people with larger gaps, porcelain veneers are recommended. Veneers are wafer-thin shells of porcelain that are affixed to the fronts of the teeth adjacent to the gaps. They are custom made to match the existing teeth in shape and color, which gives patients a more natural looking smile, while also providing them with a long-term solution.

For small and medium gaps, dental bonding, sometimes called tooth bonding, is the preferred treatment. Dental bonding involves putting a tooth-colored composite resin on the teeth between the gaps and then shaping to the desired result. Finally, the material is hardened and polished, creating a natural appearance.

Chipped teeth
Chipped teeth may appear minor in nature, but if left untreated they can cause discoloration or decay and could even expose sensitive nerve endings. The causes of chipped teeth include:

  • Tooth grinding, also called bruxism
  • Bad oral habits such as pen chewing or nail biting
  • Injury

Depending on the extent of the chip, your dentist may use one of the following techniques: dental bonding, veneers or crowns.

If the chip is minor, dental bonding is the best option. If the damage is more noticeable or if the affected tooth or teeth have become discolored, veneers are recommended. If the chipped tooth or teeth have caused structural damage, dental crowns may be the ideal route.

“The world of cosmetic dentistry is constantly evolving and we are able to provide patients with solutions that look, feel and function like their natural teeth,” said Li, an owner of a dental clinic in Ottawa. “However, it is best to speak with your dentist to decide which treatment option is best for you, as not all procedures are right for certain situations.”

© 2012 Master Google, Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization is granted, with the stipulation that Dr. Pamela Li and Master Google are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this press release is strictly prohibited with the exception of herein imbedded links.

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