Online Dental Education Library

A periodontist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of problems that affect the gums and other supporting tissues of the teeth. If you want to keep your teeth for life — a completely reasonable goal in this day and age — you need to make sure the tissues that surround them are also healthy. Should gum problems arise, you may need periodontal therapy to restore diseased tissues to health. Learn more about Periodontal Disease & Therapy.

Treatment of Gum Disease

Treating gum disease starts with the removal of any plaque and hardened deposits (tartar or calculus) on the tooth root surfaces. This may be followed by other non-surgical treatments and/or periodontal surgery to remove diseased tissue and restore your mouth to the best possible health.

Implant Dentistry

Dental Implant Video

If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants offer the comfort and security of a permanent replacement that looks and functions just like your natural teeth. Dental implants also help preserve the tooth-supporting bone in your jaw that deteriorates when even one tooth is lost.

Cosmetic Gum Surgery

The gum tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth plays a big role in how appealing your smile will look. Excess gum tissue, gum recession, and an uneven gum line are all problems that can often be successfully treated surgically at the dental office. Learn more about Cosmetic Gum Surgery.

Gum Grafting

If gum recession is affecting your health or your appearance, a routine surgical procedure called gum grafting may help. It involves carefully placing a small amount of new tissue in an area where little or no gum tissue currently exists — typically recommended to prevent further gum recession or to help cover tooth root surfaces that have become exposed. Learn more about Gum Grafting.

Tooth Extractions

There are times when it is in your best interest to have a tooth extracted (removed). This could be the case for a variety of reasons, including: damage or trauma to the tooth; extensive gum disease; extensive tooth decay; or overcrowding. Learn more about Tooth Extractions.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting, a minor in-office surgical procedure, is commonly used in dentistry to correct deficiencies in bone quantity and to build support for teeth or dental implants. Learn more about Bone Grafting.

Sedation Options

We offer a wide array of sedation options for our patients.  We want you to be comfortable for every procedure and are fully Licensed to offer you Nitrous Oxide sedation ( laughing gas), Oral sedation, IV sedation and General Anesthesia. Learn more about  Anesthesia

 

If you have teeth that are missing or need to be replaced, chances are you'll be deciding between a number of treatment options, each of which comes with a price tag. As you're weighing those options, you will probably learn why dental implants are today's premier solution to the problem of failing or lost teeth: They have the highest success rate of any tooth replacement procedure; they are the most lifelike in terms of looks and function; and with proper care, they can last the rest of your life.

Implants represent a significant investment for many people; however, when you look at all the options, we think you will find that they also offer the best value. Still, it's wise to weigh all the choices for tooth replacement — even the option of doing nothing. But can you really put a price tag on not taking action? When it comes to tooth replacement, you certainly can... and the true cost of doing nothing might surprise you.

The Hope: A Short-Term Gain?

In the short run, perhaps, the cheapest option is not to get treatment at all. Of course, you'll still be living with the obvious consequences of missing teeth — not only in terms of your appearance, but also with the difficulties you may experience trying to speak and eat normally, and the loss of self-confidence that goes along with these issues. Plus, there are the less-visible problems — like potential nutritional deficiencies, and an increased likelihood of continued bone loss — that can result from missing teeth.

These problems are quite real, but they're hard to put a price tag on. In one area, however, the price of waiting can be measured in dollars. To see how, let's look at what happens inside your mouth when teeth are lost.

The Reality: A Long-Term Loss

Consequences of Tooth Loss.Once you start to lose teeth, the bone in the jaw that formerly supported them begins to deteriorate. Over time, it can significantly decrease in volume and density — and as it does so, it may create changes in the facial appearance. Here's what happens: as you continue to lose more and more teeth, and as the bone atrophies (degenerates), the distance between nose and chin can decrease, the lips curve into a frown, and the lower third of the face partially “collapses.” You may have noticed that people who are missing teeth appear unhappy. Loss of bone structure is part of the reason why.

Removable dentures don't solve the problem of bone loss — they generally worsen it. In fact, bone loss is the reason why removable dentures need periodic adjustment and replacement: They put too much pressure on the jawbone, which causes it to erode even faster.

At a certain point, treatment may become imperative. The problem is, it's much more difficult to place implants when the bone quality and/or quantity has diminished. Bone grafts may be needed if the area of the missing tooth doesn't have enough bone volume to support the proper size implant. If several teeth are being replaced, it may also be necessary to use up to six or more implants, where only four would have been needed if the situation had been treated promptly.

The Bottom Line

By itself, the lack of sufficient bone doesn't mean that implants are out of the question. In fact, bone grafting is presently a relatively common in-office procedure that can be done as one stage of the implant process. However, chances are that treatment will now be longer, more complicated... and more costly.

How much more? That depends on the individual case; however, it's not uncommon to see a 50% increase in the total treatment cost if this type of additional work is needed. You could call that the cost of waiting. So if you're weighing tooth-replacement alternatives, don't forget that every option has its price — even doing nothing. When you consider the real value they offer, we think you'll agree that dental implants are the optimum solution for replacing missing teeth.

Related Articles

Losing Teeth - Dear Doctor Magazine

The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth For those missing even one tooth, an unsightly gap is actually the least significant problem. What's of far greater concern is the bone loss that inevitably follows tooth loss. Dental implants can preserve bone, improve function and enhance psychological well-being. Learn how implants serve both as anchors to support replacement teeth and preserve bone... Read Article