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One tooth affected


Some people are born missing an adult tooth only to be discovered years later. Other people may unfortunately lose a tooth. Damaging or losing a tooth is inconvenient, sometimes frightening, but always a traumatic experience. There may be numerous reasons for this happening, such as an accident, illness or insufficient care, but rest assured your dental provider has a solution for you.

More than a smile

Our teeth play an important role in our daily life. An attractive, natural-looking smile is seen as a symbol of vibrancy and health, and a set of functioning teeth lets us enjoy the foods we love. Our teeth help us feel confident at work, and they allow us to stay healthy and active as we age.

Unseen doesn't mean unnecessary

Everyone wants an attractive, natural-looking smile. That's why most people repair or replace a missing front tooth immediately. But when the tooth is in the back of the mouth, some may wish to delay taking care of it for a time more convenient. Unfortunately, all teeth play a significant role in our health, appearance, and daily life.
Effects of damaged or missing teeth
Treatment of damaged or missing teeth
Why dental implants?
Five more reasons to talk to your dentist

You are not alone

More than half of the world's population is missing one or more teeth. Thankfully, there are modern dental solutions that help you win back both your smile and quality of life, and finally make you feel whole again.

Click below to learn more:


Effects of damaged or missing teeth

Teeth have a major impact in your daily life. They affect your general health, appearance and self-esteem. And every tooth plays an important role.

In the back of the mouth, healthy teeth help you chew and grind food without problem while interacting with muscles and joints throughout the lower half of your face. In the front, teeth help you cut your food, support your lips, and of course can be an important part of your smile.

Effects on surrounding teeth

Missing even a single tooth has a tremendous effect on the remaining teeth, leaving them without support. Lacking this support, these adjacent teeth can begin to shift and eventually collapse into the vacant space. Additionally, teeth in the opposing jaw may no longer be stabilized and erupt into the space of the missing tooth.

These factors can make it difficult or even impossible to eventually replace the missing tooth, requiring the removal of the teeth that have moved into the gap as well. The greater the number of teeth missing in your mouth, the more challenging it becomes to replace them.

Effects on jawbone and gums

Healthy teeth are part of a functioning system that includes your chewing musculature, supporting jaw structure, and gum tissue. Chewing against teeth provides stimulation to the outside of the jaw from the chewing muscles and to the inside of the jaw from the functioning of the tooth roots. When the interplay between your teeth, jaw structure, musculature and gum tissue is upset due to a lost tooth, this stimulation is reduced or removed. Accordingly, your jawbone starts shrinking and your gum tissue follows.

Effects on appearance
Missing teeth and shrinking bone can no longer support your lips from the inside. The more teeth you lose, the more your face will change and look older and wrinkly. Your cheeks and lips are left without the necessary support, becoming hollow and saggy.

Effects of doing nothing
Not repairing a damaged tooth, or failing to replace a missing tooth, can start a chain reaction of consequences eventually resulting in avoiding certain foods you find difficult to bite or chew.

Speak to your dentist

With the help of modern dental restorations, your smile and chewing function can be restored, and your jawbone will be protected from shrinking. These restorations also help stabilize the neighboring teeth and your entire mouth remain healthier.



Treatment of damaged or missing teeth

Treating damaged or missing teeth requires a good foundation for supporting new teeth. Both the remaining natural teeth and/or new dental implants can be used to provide this support. Additionally, there are a number of alternatives for new teeth.

Using natural teeth

The most common method for repairing a damaged single tooth is a dental crown, cemented onto the existing natural tooth. Your dentist prepares the existing tooth by grinding it down. After taking an impression, he or she attaches a temporary crown while the final restoration is at the lab.

Another alternative for restoring one or more missing teeth is a bridge, using adjacent natural teeth as anchors. To secure the bridge, your dentist prepares the adjacent teeth just like the single tooth above.

There are two main drawbacks to using natural teeth as anchors for replacing your missing tooth. First, your jawbone isn't supported because the tooth root is missing, resulting in eventual shrinkage and gum recession. Second, your healthy teeth are unnecessary modified.

In both cases, you must return to your dentist to have the final restoration, which looks and feels like your natural teeth, cemented in place.

Using dental implants

When you are missing a tooth, or one must be extracted, dental implants can be used as the foundation to which a new tooth is attached. Because dental implants are inserted into your jawbone they function like tooth roots, providing support for the jawbone. Additionally, your healthy teeth are left untouched.
See Why Dental Implants? for more information.

New teeth from day one

In nearly all treatment cases, your dentist will attach a temporary prosthesis in your mouth while the final crown or bridge is being made. This temporary tooth will allow you to leave the dental office, eating and smiling normally.

New teeth material

New teeth can be produced from a number of materials. Thanks to material advancements, the most attractive restorations are produced with 100% ceramic materials. These are incredibly strong and provide the best available esthetics.

In the past, dentists offered metal crowns and bridges with porcelain (ceramic paint) fused on top. At the time this was the strongest solution available. Unfortunately, if your gum receded, a black metal line became visible at the lower edge of the restoration.

Today, all-ceramic crowns and bridges can be used in all locations of your mouth. For the best esthetics, ask your dentist for an all-ceramic restoration.



Why dental implants?

Dental implants are widely considered to be the most successful method of tooth replacement used today, because they provide patients with a number of benefits over other solutions.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant functions as the root of a new tooth. Made out of titanium, only a few millimeters long, and carefully engineered, this small screw is placed in your jawbone by your dental provider and serves as the foundation for your new tooth. Advances in biomaterials and computerized production can provide you with an individually customized high strength restoration designed to provide long term function and fulfill your appearance expectations.

Healthy natural-looking smile

Modern dental restorations, supported by dental implants, look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. Their color, shape, and contour are made to match that of your natural teeth as closely as possible.

Healthy remaining teeth

Diagram of a jaw with a dental implant.Dental implants do not sacrifice neighboring teeth to provide support like alternative treatments can. A dental implant can also lessen the loads to your remaining natural teeth while chewing by replacing structural support for your biting forces. By replacing the root structure of a missing tooth you are also replacing support for your bite that has been distributed to your other teeth. Previous bridge solutions replaced the top of a tooth but depended on your remaining teeth to provide the increased support necessary.

Stable comfortable fit

Dental implants are fixed in your jawbone, providing a comfortable and stable foundation for your restoration. Moreover, they are made of biocompatible materials and your body tolerates them easily.

Long-lasting proven solution

Implant solutions are very durable. With proper care and good oral hygiene, they will last many years, or even a lifetime. The first patient was treated with modern dental implants in 1965. When the patient died in 2006, the implants had worked without problems as the foundation for a series of oral prostheses for 40 years. Since then, millions of implants have been placed successfully all over the world.
See dental implant history for more information.

Dental implant history
Five more reasons to talk to your dentist


Important safety information
Treatment with dental implants is a surgical procedure and requires prior evaluation by your dentist to make sure your dental and general health permits dental implant treatment. Find out more
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