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When Teeth Go Missing

Dental Implants Improve Function and Smile Appearance.

We’ve all heard stories about George Washington’s wooden dentures. President Washington actually wore several dentures over his lifetime, but none of them were made from wood.  Bone, ivory, brass screws, lead, gold metal wire, and even human teeth comprised the sets he struggled wearing. Fortunately, advancements made since the 1700’s carry through to dentistry.  Missing teeth can be replaced several ways, but adding dental implants to the plan dramatically improves today’s options.

A bridge over a river whisks you from one shore to another, with each side providing vital support to the entire structure. A dental bridge functions similarly. Teeth on both sides of a gap support a replacement tooth engineered from durable materials. Although a viable option, the stress-bearing teeth are at risk of breaking down after years of function. 

A partial denture replaces missing teeth with a removable appliance larger than a bridge.  Although it’s an economical option, this design may also stress the supporting teeth. The extra bulk challenges the tolerance level of some patients. So dental bridges or removable partial dentures must feature a design that minimizes the strain on the mouth. If you have some remaining teeth, Dr. Hill makes these essential assessments and helps you weigh whether either choice would work for you.

Full dentures replace an entire arch of missing teeth in a single appliance, a design refined since George Washington’s day. But for some patients, the challenges of wearing a denture affect the quality of their lives, as they did for him. Dr. Hill focuses on offering solutions that minimize denture frustrations. By combining accurate materials with specific training, we provide our patients with the best denture services in the St. Louis area. Fortunately, we can bump the level of care even higher with dental implants.

Replicating Nature 

Over the past three decades, dental implants opened up an array of possibilities for natural function and beauty. While they can be used alone, implants also significantly enhance the application of the other options.  In many cases, dental implants provide the best restorative alternative while reducing stress in the chewing system. When precisely located in the bone of the empty space, an implant mimics the root of a tooth. The load-bearing role of the titanium piece helps spare the neighboring teeth from excessive forces. Furthermore, jawbone shrinks in areas where teeth are missing. Implants serve a secondary role by supporting the bone and helping maintain its full height…just like teeth.

The planning for implants grows more complicated when there are multiple missing teeth. But Dr. Hill drafts personalized plans that draw the puzzle pieces into a perfect outcome. Life-like porcelains attached to the bone-integrated implants create beautiful teeth in empty spaces.  So even the most challenging situations end up leaving you with a smile.

To learn more about the surprising ways dental implants solve the puzzle when teeth are missing, download our free report. Plus, find out how scientists may be able to grow new teeth in the future and what that means for you.