There are few things as concerning to a dentist as seeing a patient with missing teeth. This problem is not just an eyesore and general dental health problem, but it can also lead to negative overall health problems. Without teeth, you cannot eat the food your love or maintain a healthy diet.

But while most dentists acknowledge that missing teeth are a problem, not every dentist can give you new, permanent teeth. At Highland Advanced Dental Care, we have a variety of ways to fix your missing teeth right here in our office.

Today I want to talk about the different choices you can make if you have missing teeth. We understand that missing teeth can be a major obstacle, but we’re here to help.

Here are your options for addressing missing teeth —from bad to great.

Bad. Do Nothing. This is the obvious bad option. Not addressing missing teeth means leaving gaps in your smile. It also means that you lose your chewing ability. Patients without teeth or replacement teeth often switch to a soft-food diet and do not get the basic nutrition they need.

Additionally, when the teeth are lost, your jawbone recedes. As the jawbone recedes, you’ll develop wrinkles around your mouth and have that sunken in look. Having helped many patients with missing teeth, I can tell you that missing teeth often make patients look much older than they are.

Good. Removable Dentures. Removable dentures have been used in dentistry for hundreds of years. The materials have advanced to the point that our dentures are more lifelike than ever. The material is much more comfortable on your gums and palate. Even the fit has improved.

Removable dentures are far-and-away the most popular way to replace missing teeth. Patients use dentures to replace all of their teeth or a few missing teeth. The biggest pitfall of dentures is that the restorations are not fixed into the jawbone. This means that these devices sometimes slide around while you eat your food. Also, removable dentures will not stop your jawbone from changing shape, which affects the fit of your dentures.

Patients with removable dentures still have to worry about unstable teeth, so we this option is not considered to be the best way to replace missing teeth.

This is …

Best: Dental implants. Dental implants are revolutionary new tools we dentists are using to replace missing teeth. We can restore your implants with crowns, bridges, or new permanent teeth.

Dental implants are so useful to us because they naturally merge with the jawbone. This means the implants are secure and offer a biting force nearly equal to your natural teeth. Here is one way to look at it: Dentures can provide about 50 percent of the biting force of natural teeth, whereas dental implants can provide about 90 percent of the biting force of natural teeth. That’s a major difference.

For patients struggling with full arches of missing teeth, we provide a great option called All-on-4 dental implants. All-on-4 dental implants aren’t implant-supported dentures. We place four implants around the arch and then restore the implants with zirconia bridges. All-on-4 dental implants give you stability, and as an added bonus, the upper palate is left open. This may seem like a small bonus, but if you wear clunky removable dentures, you understand this advantage. You can better taste your food and experience more hot and cold sensations.

I’d love to chat with you more about replacement tooth options. We can give you more details when you schedule a visit. You can do that by calling 248-329-3552 or booking a visit using our online form.