If you have damaged or missing teeth due to age, infection, or injury, you are not alone. An estimated 120 million people in the United States have at least one missing tooth. Fortunately, you can replace missing teeth with high-quality, natural-looking dentures or dental implants to restore appearance and function.
Dentures are prosthetic devices that are placed in the mouth and supported by the tissues surrounding the space created by your missing tooth. They contain false teeth which are usually made of porcelain and attached to an acrylic resin base. Generally, they adhere to the gums through suction and allow the patient to eat and speak just as they would with real teeth. Dentures have evolved in appearance and quality over the past few decades.
Dental implants consist of a few pieces. The implant itself is screwed directly into the jawbone. Once that is secured, a metal abutment is installed into the implant. The abutment connects the implant to the crown or cap. That is the piece that looks and feels like a natural tooth. Dental implants provide a long-term solution to tooth loss. You can treat a crown just like your real teeth. They do not require any special cleaning or maintenance.
Dental implants do require more of a time commitment. The time from the first office visit to the day your implant is installed can take up to nine months. That includes downtime for healing from dental surgery, which is part of the implant process. As with every procedure, an oral surgeon will provide the utmost care to ensure you are always safe and comfortable during surgery. Implants are typically more durable than dentures and can last up to 10 years or longer with good oral hygiene.
Why Is it Important to Replace Missing Teeth?
Missing teeth are not just a cosmetic issue. If you ignore a missing tooth for too long, you can end up with costly and painful long-term health issues. The reason why can be found in your jawbone.
The primary function of your jawbone is to serve as a firm foundation to support your teeth. When you lose a tooth, the bone in that area can atrophy and collapse, causing the cheeks to appear sunken in. Missing teeth can lead to other dental problems, including:
- Misaligned neighboring teeth.
- Challenges with brushing and flossing.
- Difficulty, speaking, chewing, and eating.
- Weakened teeth that are prone to cracks and chips.
- Higher risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and more teeth loss.
South Jersey Oral Surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Restore Patients’ Smiles With Dental Implants
If a missing tooth is having an impact on your confidence and health, our South Jersey oral surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are here to help. We will assess your needs and explain all of your options so you can make informed decisions about tooth replacement. Call us at 856-582-4222 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Washington Township, Haddonfield, and Woolwich Township, New Jersey, we serve residents throughout South Jersey.