Tooth loss in adults is more common than you might think. About one-third of the people in the United States have lost at least one tooth, and about one-tenth of Americans have lost all their natural teeth. If you are missing teeth you’re not alone. Dr. Brian Klym and the team at Northwood Dental can help. Learn more about the tooth replacement options he offers and find out which one could make the best option for you.
Dental implants can make a dramatic change in the appearance and function of your smile. Implants are surgically placed in the jawbone to take the place of a natural tooth’s root. They can be used to secure a single crown, bridge, or full denture, depending on how many teeth need replacing. They are secure and feel like your natural teeth. They allow you to eat all of your favorite foods without the restoration becoming loose, and care is as easy as brushing and flossing as you would with your natural teeth.
Traditional tooth replacement options, such as bridges and dentures, are placed on top of the gums and over time can lead to bone loss where the tooth is missing. Implants, however, are placed directly into the bone which maintains bone density and the health of surrounding teeth. Implants are also very long-lasting. Although the implant itself can last a lifetime, the crown that is attached to it will need to be replaced over time.
At Northwood Dental, we specialize in using dental implants for restoring function and beauty to our patients’ smiles. Dr. Klym has extensive experience in implant dentistry. He has completed many hours of continuing education through the prestigious Misch International Implant Institute, resulting in Diplomate status with the International Congress of Implantologists (ICOI). Schedule a consultation with Dr. Klym to learn more about dental implants and if it is the right restorative option for you.
Before implants became widely available, dental bridges offered the best option for replacing one or more adjacent missing teeth. It remains a good choice for patients who are not ideal candidates for implants. The placement of a dental bridge does not require a surgical procedure, as is necessary to place an implant. However, it does involve permanently altering the teeth surrounding the gap by attaching dental crowns. These crowns support one or more replacement teeth to “bridge” the gap left by the missing teeth. When given proper care, bridges will need to be replaced every seven to ten years.
Traditional dentures that sit on top of the gums used to be the only option for people who need to replace a full arch of teeth. They offered a quick, easy, and economical solution for restoring function and appearance to a smile. They’re still the best option for certain patients, but dentures have some drawbacks. Since they don’t have contact with the jawbone, as implants do, wearing dentures for a long period of time can lead to significant bone loss. This deterioration, common among denture-wearers, leads to sunken cheeks and wrinkles over time. Dentures can also be difficult to get used to, may slip out of place when you’re chewing or talking, and often cause gum discomfort.
With advances in implant dentistry, a full-arch denture can now be secured to the jaw using implants. Implant-supported dentures not only give you more confidence in talking and make eating easier, they also help prevent further bone deterioration, creating a healthier mouth and overall appearance.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Klym
If you are missing teeth and would like to learn more about your replacement options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Klym. With two locations, in Traverse City and Petoskey, Michigan, you can choose the one that’s convenient for you. Contact Northwood Dental today to start your journey toward a restored smile you’ll want to show the world!