How Oral Surgery Can Improve Your Smile
At New York Dental office, we can use oral surgery
to restore missing teeth and improve both the appearance and functionality of our patients’ smiles. Over sixty percent of U.S. adults will lose at least one of their adult teeth. Whether due to an infection, accident, gum disease or other health concern, the majority of adults will struggle with this reality. Traditionally, the only way to replace a missing tooth was to wear dentures. While a dependable solution, dentures can be uncomfortable, feel bulky and come loose while speaking or eating. This makes it nearly impossible to feel like they are natural teeth.
Thanks to modern technology there are better ways to replace missing teeth. Since the 1990s many patients have used dental bridges as a means to do so. The bridge is formed by placing a crown onto the two teeth surrounding the missing one. The crowns are used to hold the bridge and synthetic tooth in place. This is an excellent solution except for the fact that the surrounding teeth are impacted. The teeth that wear the crowns may be perfectly healthy but in order for the procedure to be completed, enamel must be removed from them to make room for the crown. Once the enamel is removed, it cannot grow back – making the procedure permanent.
For those that want to permanently replace a tooth without damaging the surrounding teeth, dental implants are a far better option. In this oral surgery, the dentist implants a metal post under the gums and secures it to the jawbone. This must be done carefully, in order to avoid harming the surrounding gum tissue. Over the course of several months, the bone and metal post will fuse together during a process called osseointegration. Once done, this creates a new root system that is as strong and durable as a natural one would be with one major exception – metal can’t become infected. The final step of the process is securing a natural looking crown to the metal post.
The crown is made in a dental lab to match the size and shade of the surrounding teeth. Since the process involves the creation of a root system, the new tooth is completely sturdy and durable. When wearing an implant, there is no risk of the tooth falling out or becoming loose. This provides complete freedom to play sports, stay active, eat a variety of foods and more, all without restriction.
While this is an oral surgery, once the process is complete it is far more convenient than a dental bridge or wearing dentures because an implant feels, looks, and behaves like a natural tooth. It is taken care of by brushing and flossing so there are no additional care steps to take, and it should last a lifetime without needing to be replaced. This is different than a bridge or dentures that have a shorter lifespan. As a cosmetic dentist and oral surgeon we can discuss all of these options with you so that you can determine how you would like to replace your missing teeth.