You’ve heard it said before, “family is forever.” Tattoos fall into the same category – they are permanent. But do you realize that you have one set of teeth for your entire life?

In a perfect world, we would all be able to inherit nice, straight teeth that we would brush & floss regularly, so they lasted from childhood well past grand-parent-hood. However, reality is often different from fantasy, and sometimes we find with issues, or even tmd disorder. When that happens to you and your teeth, we can help!

If you still have all your teeth, take a moment and pat yourself on the back – life has been good to you, and your hard work in caring for your teeth is paying off! You, your dentist, and the dental hygiene team you work with should continue the current regimen of care you have in place. Prevention really is the best medicine!

If you are missing teeth, you have options. Your options include dentures, bridges, and implants. Only consultation with your dental professional can identify which is the best option for you. However, having some basic information can help you to ask the right questions. Let’s talk about these one at a time.

Dentures: Most of us remember our grandparents having dentures. We usually learned that all of their teeth weren’t their own anymore when we saw them in the bathroom in a jar or cup, or when their teeth fell out of their mouth during supper – it was scary! Bonding agents have changed dramatically, and modern day dentures fit better and stay in place better than they did in the past.

Bridges: Just like a bridge that helps you span a gap, so to do dental bridges. Dental bridges are used to have missing teeth replaced by artificial teeth, where the ends are anchored to existing teeth. In other words, a bridge is a way to span a gap between strong teeth.

Implants: of the three options, implants are by far the newest technology. An implant is used when a tooth is missing. An anchor or post is set into the jaw bone. A tooth is then secured to the top of the post inside the mouth. The end result is a tooth that is attached to the jaw bone, just like the rest of your teeth.

Cost and time commitments required to accomplish these solutions varies from one dental professional to another. More important than the economics of the issue is the relationship you have with your dentist. Finding and working with a dentist you like is priceless!

Please consult with your dentist to learn which of these options is right for you! In the real world, we all need solutions to help us have teeth that look nice, work perfectly, and last us a lifetime.