Missing Teeth

Given that Incredible Smiles is largely a cosmetic practice, we have people coming in for consultations that are seeking ways to enhance their smile. Often the discussion leads to missing teeth. Sometimes the missing teeth are in the front part of the smile, but more often they are in the back.

When we are missing back teeth it is usually a molar. With normal genetics and heredity in play, most people receive 12 molars. For most, the molars way in the back (wisdom teeth) get removed. Then we are left with eight.  It is the molars that arrive at the age of six that have to weather the storm years of the teens and early twenties. Decay and root canals are common in these teeth.  These six-year molars (the second tooth from the back in each quadrant), are also the ones that are most common for future implants.

Molars are the functional support system for the bite. Their presence helps prevent the wearing down of the anterior teeth. So before we say yes to an enhancement of the front teeth we must ensure a strong foundation with the presence of natural molars or implants with crowns in the back of the mouth.

Missing teeth happen because of infrequent checkups.

It is best to detect decay early so that we can place small fillings. Teeth with small fillings that are not deep can last a lifetime. People without financial access to frequent dental visits are just as likely to end up with a missing tooth or teeth as those who drink soda and don’t brush.  Access to dental care and routine home care help prevent a missing or moving tooth situation.

Once a tooth is missing, options for replacement should be discussed. If there is a tooth behind the missing one, a bridge is an option.  This option is ok when time and frequent visits are a concern. A bridge is about $6,000 because it involves crowning two teeth with an artificial tooth placed between the two anchor crowns. Implant replacement for one single tooth can range from $3,000-$6,000 and the process takes 6-7 months.

At Incredible Smiles we offer implant services with our oral surgeon. Together as a team of dentists, we create options that serve your desires.  We do believe in providing options for missing teeth. Sometimes that option involves leaving a missing tooth but laying the foundation with a bone graft so that an implant is a good option in the future. A more affordable option with a removable device is also an option. However, the option to replace a missing tooth with an implant is the trend.

The implant process involves first removing the unhealthy tooth and grafting the site with bone. The bone graft keeps the area full and does not allow the bone surrounding the hole to collapse into it. After the graft is in place for 3-4 months then an implant can be placed.  From this point, we wait another 3-4 months for the implant to integrate into the bone. Now we are ready to place a crown on the implant.

Reach out to us for a complimentary consultation.  We are happy to discuss options with you.  Call us at 303-499-0013 or contact us here.

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