Do you frequently have the urge to hide your mouth from view from others? Do you often feel embarrassed about your “hockey smile?” Don’t worry! We have high-quality options for missing teeth so you can feel confident in your smile again. If your face is sagging from missing teeth, we have some great solutions for you. If you need teeth covers for missing teeth, our choices will include just what you want. Get all the support you need for your hockey smile with us.
The Reality of That “Hockey Smile”
If you or a loved one is missing a tooth or several, it’s okay! And you’re not alone. Dr. Guirguis estimates that one in every three people in the US is missing at least one tooth, and a quarter of those over 75 years of age have no teeth left at all. Besides the obvious concerns that come from having to live with holes in your smile, it’s important to realize that people without teeth live on average 10 years less. Many people suffer from face sagging from missing teeth, so it is much more than just concerns about the appearance of a smile. There can be consequences or difficulties that come with speech, eating, and more.
It’s clear that this is a common problem, and luckily there are a variety of options for missing teeth. Let’s explore some of the possibilities and when they work the best.
Leave the Hole Empty
The first option when it comes to missing teeth is just to do nothing. Rather than finding some teeth covers for missing teeth or another similar solution to fill the holes from the missing teeth, people can choose to leave the holes in their mouth empty. However, this method is not at all recommended. Even though you can often do fine or at least get by for a while by doing nothing for missing teeth, it soon leads to other problems.
Leaving that space in the mouth, especially over longer periods, causes teeth around the space to tip and shift. When teeth move around like this, it makes it increasingly likely for one missing tooth to become multiple missing teeth. Plus, having a missing tooth or two on one side of the mouth generally leads to chewing on the other side exclusively, causing accelerated wear and tear on that section as well. And, if that wasn’t enough, missing teeth can change the profile of your face. Face sagging from missing teeth can make you look older. Leaving the holes empty in the mouth from missing teeth is a bad idea, especially long term.
A Single Missing Tooth: The Ideal Solution
So if you shouldn’t leave the hole empty, what are the viable options for missing teeth? It all depends on how many teeth need to be replaced. A single missing tooth would ideally be replaced with a dental implant. This is the closest replacement, both in look and feel, to a natural tooth. Plus, this option for missing teeth doesn’t affect the surrounding teeth in the way that some of the other teeth covers for missing teeth can.
Unlike a bridge or a partial denture, dental implants are independent, which means that they don’t compromise surrounding teeth. Made of titanium, implants act as both the roots and crown of a natural tooth. Through the osseointegration process, an implant will integrate into the bone, eventually helping not just with the appearance but also fulfilling the function of a natural tooth.
How to Know if An Implant is Right for You
Because implants need solid and healthy bone structures in the mouth, they are not always possible as options for missing teeth. You will need a dentist’s approval to get an implant. Your dentist will be able to determine if an implant is right for you.
Here at Definitive Dental, this process is simple and effective for each of our patients. We create a customized plan to determine the optimal teeth covers for missing teeth in each person’s unique circumstances. With 3D scans, we carefully evaluate the height, width, and even the density of the hole in the mouth. From there, we can see if we would recommend an implant, based on the bone structure and size of the hole in the mouth. We may have to go to other options if an implant wouldn’t be a good fit.
Other Missing Tooth Solution Possibilities: A Bridge
If an implant doesn’t seem to be the best possibility as a solution for a hole in the mouth, getting a bridge is another option for missing teeth. With a bridge, you get a permanent fixture that doesn’t necessarily require the adjacent teeth for support. This bridge is essentially three dental crowns put together with a false tooth fused in the middle.
A bridge can be a good option if there is not enough bone for an implant, which can happen if a tooth has been missing for several years. In some cases, we can use two implants to connect a bridge, essentially replacing three. These other options are removable. Our flexible solutions can create personalized smiles.
Choosing a Partial Denture
A partial denture is also a great option for missing teeth, especially if multiple teeth are missing spread across both sides of the mouth. Partial dentures typically have a metal frame and clasps for strength, but can also be made of flexible plastic. Our expert doctor recommends using a metal frame, as they can be easily tightened or loosened. This feature allows more teeth to easily be added if more holes come up in the mouth. So adjustments can be made without having to remake the entire denture.
For a single missing tooth, a small, one tooth partial denture can be fitted. This is the least expensive option for missing teeth if you don’t mind having something that comes in and out of your mouth. Just be careful not to lose your partial denture or accidentally throw it away.
Considering Complete Dentures for Multiple Missing Teeth
Finally, if you are missing all of your teeth in an arch, a complete denture is the option for missing teeth that will allow you to eat and smile. Most people are just fine with the complete upper denture, but a complete lower denture will take some getting used to through the adjustment period.
For that reason, our doctor recommends an implant retained denture if a complete lower denture is needed. When you add implants to the denture, you gain a lot of stability. Teeth covers for missing teeth are supportive, making the transition easier than other types of dentures. This goes so far that, in some cases, people do not ever need to remove the denture if it is supported by implants. That option is, of course, more expensive, as it involves more hardware in the mouth. Let your dentist work with you to see what is the best decision for you.
Let Us Take Your Smile to New Heights
Don’t get overwhelmed with all the different options for missing teeth. We know this is a lot of info to chew on. But, at Definitive Dental, we’re known for Dentistry Done Right. So we are here to help you determine which teeth covers for missing teeth make the most sense for your mouth. We can help you evaluate which option is best for you. Personalized care from dedicated dentistry teams will help you build confidence in your smile while also building up your good oral hygiene habits.
Ready for the first step of loving your smile again? Schedule an appointment or reach out today to get started with your journey in evaluating and fixing your missing teeth. We’ll get back in touch soon to work on your personalized plan. Say goodbye to your face sagging from missing teeth. No need to hide your smile because of holes or gaps anymore! We can’t wait to help you Take Your Smile to New Heights.