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There are many reasons to replace missing teeth. A full smile can give you renewed self confidence and self esteem, and help you to speak and chew your food more effectively. In addition, the empty spots in your smile serve as breeding grounds for bacteria and places for plaque to accumulate. Without a full set of teeth, your remaining teeth can drift out of alignment, striking each other at improper angles. Over time, this will damage the enamel on your teeth, which in turn could cause tooth decay and more lost teeth.

Many people turn to dental implants to solve the problem. Dental implants are a great solution, since they are placed on titanium posts that have been implanted in your jaw. They look natural, they do not need to be removed to be cleaned, and they will remain secure as your jawbone grows around the posts.

But, not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. If you do not have healthy gums or enough jawbone to support the implants, your dentist may suggest another option. If you are pregnant or your jaws have not stopped growing, implants may not be for you. Other issues include current and past medical issues, medications; and habits and lifestyle choices.

If dental implants are not in your future, your dentist may suggest that you opt for a dental bridge. Bridges require less surgery than implants, and can be worn by many people. Your dentist will file down the tooth on each end of the gap in your smile. These teeth will receive crowns that will anchor the bridge. The dentist will take an impression of the area, and send that impression to a dental lab which will create your bridge. Temporary crowns and a bridge will be placed in your mouth while the permanent bridge is made. When it is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary dental work and cement your new crowns and bridge in place.

With the proper care, your bridge can last you many years. You will need to continue to brush and floss and see your dentist for your regular cleanings and exams. If you have problems flossing, a floss threader can help you clean around the bridge. A diet that is strong in fruits and vegetables and that does not involve sugary and starchy foods will help your bridge to last.

If you are thinking about replacing one or more missing teeth, take time to visit with our dentist, Dr. Caesar Ciaglia for an exam and a consultation. If you live in the New Lenox, Illinois, area, call 815-485-2345 to make an appointment at New Lenox Dental Group. We look forward to helping you restore your smile!