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Face it – We are rough on our teeth. Sometimes we neglect them, take them for granted or simply abuse them. Between physical activities, such as sports, or chewing hard substances like ice, our teeth can get knocked out, broken, cracked and worn down. Forgetting routine dental appointments and ignoring proper cleaning tactics can result in periodontal disease, tooth decay and ultimately tooth loss. When teeth are missing, your mouth must compensate for the lack of chewing power in that area in order to function normally. So, the chewing force may shift to another part of the mouth, which can cause unwanted spaces and changes in your smile. Through restorative dental procedures smiles are repaired to look pristine again using a combination of crowns and bridges to support or to replace lost teeth. A crown snugly covers the complete visible surface of your affected tooth to add strength, durability, and tooth stability, while also restoring your tooth to its natural shape and size. Crowns can be made of porcelain, precious metal and porcelain fused-to-metal. A bridge, (also known as a pontic), is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill the gaps left by the original missing tooth. The new tooth is then anchored to the two porcelain crowns, renewing your once-damaged smile.

Q: What are my options for replacing a missing tooth?

A: By replacing missing teeth either with a bridge or with an implant, you will alleviate the problems associated with missing a tooth and will restore your smile to its beautiful, full appearance. A bridge is one solution for replacing a tooth. By using neighboring teeth as the supportive structure, your dentist places a porcelain restoration into the vacant space, restoring the functionality and look of your smile. A dental implant is also an excellent solution. Dental implants involve the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone. Once the post has bonded to the bone, it can act as a new, solid support for a natural-looking, porcelain restoration. Implants can replace a single tooth, or an entire set of teeth, offering more function and permanence than traditional dentures.

“They have a very caring and friendly staff and they really know how to make you comfortable during each and every one of your office visits.”

• Janet H.

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