Missing teeth, or losing a tooth, can be a traumatic experience and affects daily life for many patients: chewing food is difficult in many cases and speech can also be affected. Frequently, embarrassment is also a factor and patients find themselves trying not to smile and avoiding social situations. Durham, NC dentist Dr. Brent L. Blaylock provides treatment options for replacing missing teeth to restore dental health- and a functional smile.
The restorative options for replacing a missing tooth – or teeth- are dentures, dental bridges or dental implants. In most cases, unless a patient is not a good candidate, Dr. Blaylock recommends dental implants. Dentures can offer patients natural looking replacement teeth that are removable for cleaning and can be adjusted for fit as needed. However, this feature can also cause discomfort for many patients who may find it difficult to eat certain foods due to slippage. Additionally, over time the jaw bone may begin to recede and dentures will begin to feel loose and uncomfortable.
Dental implants, while more costly up front, offer many long term benefits and provide a natural looking AND functioning replacement for lost teeth. Anchored into the jaw bone with a tiny titanium post, a dental implant acts much like a natural tooth. The post can also help to preserve jaw bone, minimizing bone recession that naturally occurs when a tooth is removed.
Dr. Blaylock will coordinate the surgical phase of your procedure with a local specialist and follow up with you in his Durham dentist office. Once the bone has healed after implantation of the post, he will place a custom made dental crown which will feel secure and blend with surrounding natural teeth. Implants do not require patients to watch what they eat because they are permanently attached to the bone!
Dental implants can also be used to secure a denture, providing a permanent restoration that enables patients to enjoy a varied diet, with no need for daily maintenance.
If you have lost teeth, schedule a consultation with Dr. Blaylock in Durham, NC. He will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan designed to meet your cosmetic and dental health needs.