Surgical Solutions for Replacing Missing Teeth: Restore Your Smile and Confidence
Medically reviewed by Dr Jerry Jesin

Surgical Solutions for Replacing Missing Teeth

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Missing teeth are not just an aesthetic issue. Losing one or more teeth can make it difficult to eat and speak, and even affect the structure of the face in some cases. ­­­Finally, it can impact your confidence as you become self-conscious about your looks and speech. This can lead to social awkwardness, even social withdrawal in some cases, and affect the overall quality of life. 

Fortunately, your dentist can help you select a surgical tooth replacement option that is effective, lasts long, and restores the look and the function of your natural teeth. 

Understanding tooth loss

Teeth are one of the hardest parts of the human body. But it is not unusual to experience tooth loss due to injury, decay, and gum disease. Missing teeth can even cause the loss of bone. Here are the most common causes of Tooth loss. 

  • Dental caries and cavities: Untreated dental caries is a leading cause of tooth loss. They can cause dental decay, leading to tooth loss or the need for extraction. 
  • Periodontal or gum disease: When plaque builds up on the teeth, it can gradually cause gum infections. Left untreated, gum disease can cause bone loss, making the teeth loose and finally, fall out.
  • Injuries: Dental trauma may knock teeth out due to impact. 
  • Genetic causes: Your genes may make you susceptible to gum disease, dental decay, and loss of teeth. 
  • Chronic diseases: Some medical conditions, like diabetes, can trigger or speed up gum disease, ultimately leading to tooth loss.

Missing teeth can lead to several oral health issues and negatively affect your overall health too. The remaining teeth may slowly shift out of alignment. You may face difficulties in chewing and speaking. Loss of teeth may cause bone loss, and changes in the structure of the face. All these may even impact the overall quality of life. Due to these potential consequences, you should not ignore tooth loss and find out about suitable missing tooth replacement options.     

Overview of Surgical Solutions 

We know that a missing tooth is often ignored but shouldn’t be. Modern dentistry offers several proven dental treatments to replace the missing teeth. 

Dental Implants

Implants are one of the most common and the most effective dental replacement options. The dental implant process involves inserting a screw-like post on the jaw bone. Theses posts are typically made of titanium alloy, a biocompatible material. The implant gradually fuses with the bone. Then a crown is anchored on the implant with the help of a metal abutment. This process results in reliable and long-term tooth replacement. Dental implants have shown higher durability and longevity than other missing tooth replacement options.

All-on-4 Implants

The All-on-4 dental implants are a truly life-changing permanent teeth replacement treatment. This treatment is a Godsend for people who have has lost their teeth, are about to lose them, or are frustrated with dentures.

The process involves surgical insertion of four fixed dental implants. Two implants are inserted vertically in the front part of the jaw while the other two are inserted at an angle towards the rear of the jaw. These four, strategically placed implants provide a solid foundation for the implant supported dentures that can be put in place immediately. This is why sometimes the All-on-4 implants are referred to as ‘teeth in a day’. 

The All-on-4 implants act as permanent, natural tooth roots, thereby reducing the impact of bone loss. Since these implants connect with the jaw bone securely, they often avoid the need for a bone graft. A full set of natural-looking, secure, comfortable teeth allows the person to eat and speak confidently. Aftercare for these implants is the same as that for your natural teeth.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges can be installed in two ways.

  • Implant supported dental bridges: If a person needs multiple teeth in a row to be replaced, bridges that are supported by dental implants prove to be a cost-effective option. The bridge is placed on the gums and is held by dental implants on two sides. This is not a permanent solution. Since the bridge is placed on the gums in the middle, it may shift and the person may suffer bone loss. However, implant supported bridges last longer than dentures.
  • Tooth supported bridges: Dental implants can be expensive for some. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, your dentist may recommend a bridge that is supported by the existing teeth, without the use of dental implants. The anchor teeth at the ends of the affected area are ground and a bridge is placed upon them. This is not a permanent teeth replacement solution.

Bone Grafting

A bone graft may be required before a dental implant if a person doesn’t have enough bone to support an implant. Bone grafts can act as a scaffold to strengthen the existing bone structure and create a strong foundation for a dental implant. The graft may be taken from the person’s own body (autogenous), from a human tissue bank (allograft) or a synthetic material (alloplast). Dental bone grafts have shown high success rates. They make people with low bone density or bone loss eligible for dental implants.


Patient Considerations

If you are considering surgical solutions for missing teeth, it’s important to know the criteria that make a person a good candidate for these treatments. This is why a thorough examination and consultation with a dental professional is essential. 

Candidacy

Ideal candidates for surgical solutions for missing teeth have good overall health. They should practice good oral hygiene. Their jaw bone should be dense enough to hold the implants or they should be prepared to undergo bone grafting. Smokers are poor candidates for surgical dental treatments. It is also important to understand your treatment process to have realistic expectations about the outcome. 

Typically, dental implants are good for most people with good oral health. All-on-4 implants are usually recommended to people who have lost all teeth in the dental arch. If the neighbouring teeth are present and healthy, your dentist may recommend dental bridges. 

Consultation

A complete dental exam and professional consultation are necessary to determine the best teeth replacement solution for your missing teeth. 

Replacing Missing Teeth at SkyMark Smile Centre

If you have a lost a tooth or more, schedule a consultation with experienced dentists at the Mississauga SkyMark Smile Centre. Even if you are not experiencing any problems because of your missing teeth, gradual gum shrinking and bone loss can lead to painful oral health conditions later. The dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, order diagnostic imaging scans and discuss your treatment options with you. They will then develop a customized treatment plan to come up with missing teeth solutions considering your need and goals. 

Are you ready to take the first step towards better oral health and a confident smile? Call 905-890-1100 or visit SkyMarkSmileCentre.ca to request a free consultation today. 

Resources 

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8872086/#:~:text=The%20main%20reasons%20for%20missing,9%2C10%2C11%5D.

2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20156230/

3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20305862/

Andrea Galick

Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.