According to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 50% of people in the United States are missing at least one tooth due to gum disease, tooth decay or injury. And although Nebraska and Iowa rank in the top half of states for dental health, you or someone you know is probably missing a tooth. If you’re missing one or more, you’ve probably thought about getting a replacement before, but don’t know which option is right for you – or if you can even afford it. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you every step of the way.
First of all, why should I replace my missing teeth? Obviously everyone loves a nice toothy smile, but don’t forget the real reason we have teeth – for chewing our food. And for each missing tooth, you lose about 10% of your chewing ability. Your jaw is designed to operate with 28 teeth and as soon as one is out of the equation, the surrounding teeth start to drift into the empty space. This not only makes your good teeth more prone to decay and gum disease, but it can also change your appearance. Because after an extraction, the bone that supports the teeth begins to shrink over time and your face adjusts with it. Of course no one wants to look and feel older than they really are! But the longer you wait after a tooth is extracted, the more bone volume you lose. And the more bone volume you lose, the more expensive and difficult it becomes to get teeth replaced.
There are plenty of options to replace missing teeth. But finding the option that works best for you requires a look at your dental health and some collaboration between you and your doctor.
The long-lasting option: Dental Implants.
If you are missing teeth and your gums and jaw are healthy, you may benefit from dental implants, which are replacement teeth that are implanted surgically into the jawbone. With good oral hygiene, dental implants can last for 20 years or more without the need for replacement. Dental implants are often a popular choice for people who have only one or two teeth missing, but they can be an alternative to dentures if you have several missing teeth. As long as your gums and jaw are healthy, two or more implants can serve as a base of support for several replacement teeth.
Dental implants are generally the most expensive option but for patients with good oral health, they are likely going to be your best choice to avoid further tooth decay or loss. Whenever you replace a tooth, you hope it’ll be the last time. Dental implants give you the best chance of keeping your remaining healthy teeth.
Another option is a fixed bridge.
If you’re just replacing a single tooth and have healthy gums, a fixed bridge might be a less expensive option for you. These normally last about 10-12 years. In order to make a bridge, the adjacent teeth are prepared by reducing their size and then prosthetic teeth are placed over the existing teeth and empty space. The problem with fixed bridges is the irreversible damage they do to your adjacent teeth. In the end, you might end up paying for it with more expensive dental work and more implants, bridges or more missing teeth.
The classic choice: Dentures.
Most people who have heard of dentures (a.k.a false teeth) have also heard that they can be a nuisance – slipping while speaking, discomfort while chewing and of course soaking them by your bed every night – but dentures have come a long way in recent years. Most commonly when people think of dentures, they think of complete dentures which are recommended when a patient is missing all of his/her teeth or has weakened bone. Partial dentures are dentures that only replace some of your teeth. They rely on the surrounding teeth for support, and so can cause additional damage to those surrounding teeth and gums. Implant supported dentures are recommended when a patient is missing all of his/her teeth but has a healthy enough jaw to support implants.
What will it cost you? That really depends on which option you and your dentist decide on together, as well as how much your insurance will cover. If you’re currently without insurance, we offer a comprehensive dental plan and accept CareCredit at all of our locations. Call us today to set up an appointment and let us help you replace your missing teeth!
Call (801) 701-9799 to schedule your appointment today!
Join us at Stonehaven Dental – Lehi and Draper on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for a day of free dentistry! Dental offices from all over the area will join forces to provide free cleanings, fillings and extractions for our community. Each participant may choose one of the following:
This event will be held at our Lehi office, located at 181 N 1200 E., and in Draper at 177 W. 12300 S. Suite 101.
You must be 18 or older to participate. Services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
Volunteers are needed! Please call 801-701-9012 for more information and to get involved.
This is the harsh reality of oral cancer, a disease that is easy to diagnose, but often discovered too late.
The Facts: The death rate of oral cancer is higher than cancers we hear about more frequently, including cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid. In fact, there are more deaths from mouth cancer each year than there are from road accidents. If you expand the definition of oral and oropharyngeal cancers to include cancer of the larynx, the numbers of diagnosed cases grow to approximately 54,000 individuals, and 13,500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Worldwide the problem is much greater, with over 450,000 new cases being found each year.
The median age of diagnosis is 62 years old, with the highest percentage of deaths falling within the 55-64 age group. Oral cancer is more common in men than in women, with two men affected for every woman. And those with a history of tobacco or heavy alcohol use account for nearly 75% of all oral cancers diagnosed. Smokers are 6 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop mouth or pharyngeal cancer, and approximately 90% of people with oral cancer are tobacco users. Over the past 10 years, its incidence has increased in the younger population due to increased contraction of human human papilloma virus (HPV), which is now considered the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer.
Signs and Symptoms: If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms that last for more than two weeks (14 days), you should consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist or doctor for a screening. Remember, early detection is critical.
Get Involved: If you’d like to spread awareness this month and beyond, there are plenty of ways to do so.
Refer a friend. Win a bike from Utah’s own Mad Dog Cycles.
Anyone who refers a friend or family member to Stonehaven Dental in April will be entered to win. The drawing will be held on April 30th and winners announced the following Monday. Entries are unlimited. You’ll receive one entry for each new patient you refer when they visit one of our offices for their free exam and x-ray. Just make sure everyone you refer mentions your name at their appointment to ensure you are entered. We’re accepting entries at all Stonehaven Dental locations.
Don’t you wish you could do wheelies like Dr. Eric?
When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) asked people what they would most like to improve about their smile, a whiter smile was the overwhelming response. A whiter, brighter smile gives the impression of youth and good health. As we age, the outer enamel of the teeth gets thinner so that yellowish dentin shows through. Teeth become darker, yellow, and more stained. Certain foods and beverages also undermine a white smile by staining teeth.
The American Dental Association (AACD) and celebrity dentist Jonathan B. Levine, DMD, offer several suggestions for whiter teeth. Follow these tips to achieve a more dazzling, engaging smile.
1. Avoid foods and beverages that stain teeth. Coffee, red wine, cola, tea, and cranberry juice are the main offenders. Soy sauce and blueberries can also stain teeth.
2. Drink staining beverages from a straw. Drinking from a straw reduces the amount of contact staining liquid has with teeth.
3. Brush immediately after consuming a staining food or beverage.
4. Rinse after eating acidic fruits to prevent erosion of tooth enamel which can make teeth stain more easily.
5. Eat an apple or raw vegetable after consuming a staining food or beverage to help remove surface stains.
6. Replace your toothbrush every three months to clean properly and floss to prevent stains between teeth.
7. Avoid certain lipstick colors. Dr. Levine cautions that red with a blue undertone will highlight yellow tones in teeth. Try a medium coral instead.
8. Choose off-white clothing. Dr. Levine also finds that bright white clothing near the face makes teeth appear more yellow. This is especially important for brides or anyone selecting an outfit for a photo session.
9. Avoid smoking. Tar and nicotine cause significant yellowing.
10. Consider cosmetic whitening. An overwhelming number of over-the-counter whitening toothpastes, gels, trays, and strips are on the market. While inexpensive, they are not as effective as in-office whitening because they remove stains rather than change the color of teeth. Also, the trays often fit poorly.
11. Consult your dentist about in-office whitening. Bleach may not correct all discoloration issues. Some medications can cause discoloration. Yellow teeth respond better to bleaching than brown or gray teeth. Whitening may not be for you if you have caps, crowns, or fillings. If you are a candidate for whitening, your dentist can use stronger bleaching agents than over-the-counter products and may also use special light or laser. Your dentist can also send you home with properly fitted trays so you can maintain your new, whiter smile.