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Feeling Like Something is Missing?  
(by Richard Weber, DMD)

If you are one of the 178 million Americans with one or more missing teeth*, you have probably noticed a few changes in your mouth. Perhaps you've developed an annoying gap that traps food every time you eat. Maybe the surrounding teeth have started to shift. You might even experience pain or discomfort when you chew. What's more, if you're like most missing_toothpeople, the missing tooth may make you feel a bit self-conscious about smiling.

Many people grow accustomed to these inconveniences and ignore the underlying problem. Unfortunately that can lead to additional tooth loss and other serious health issues.

There are many solutions for missing teeth, including the increasingly popular dental implant, a small screw-like piece of titanium that is used to replace the missing root of a tooth. It serves as an anchor for the replacement tooth; over time it fuses with the jaw to provide an extremely strong foundation.

The implant is fitted with a crown, the visible portion of the replacement tooth Crowns were traditionally made of metal and/or porcelain, but some dentist now offer crowns made of superior materials – like zirconium - that are more natural dr_richlooking, many times stronger, and last much longer.   

The new generation of crowns are potentially indistinguishable from your natural teeth, but results vary widely depending upon the capabilities of the dental team. A crown that is not skillfully colored and shaped will attract the wrong kind of attention. Be sure to select a dentist who seems attentive to details, and can show you examples of their work.

By using implants, dentists can usually restore missing teeth without affecting any of the neighboring teeth. Another advantage of implants is that they're more permanent and comfortable than dentures, and require no special maintenance. Cosmetic dentists can usually place and restore implants right in their office, and the procedure is covered by most insurance plans.

So if you’re ready to restore your mouth to a healthy state, and recapture the natural beauty of your smile, call a cosmetic dentist today and find out if dental implants are right for you.

* American College of Prosthodontists

This post was submitted by Dr. Richard Weber, who practices at Monokian Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Marlton, NJ.