Tooth Replacement

Frequently, patients are missing a tooth or multiple teeth. Most important is that not every missing tooth needs to be replaced! In consultation with Dr. Wolff, we will evaluate whether a missing tooth needs to be replaced using three criteria…does the missing tooth effect function (like chewing and eating), is the missing tooth likely to create a problem (like will adjacent teeth tip and move or will the empty space result in gum disease) or does the missing tooth provide an esthetic concern. If there is a reason for replacing the missing tooth (teeth) we will discuss how to best achieve the YOUR best outcome. In many cases there will be multiple ways to achieve a functional outcome…this is where your consultation with Dr. Wolff becomes most important. All tooth replacements will take many visits and require the efforts of both the dentist and the patient!

Bridges

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) prosthesis and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.

There are several types of bridges. We will discuss your concerns, complete an examination and the we will discuss the best options for your particular case. The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. This type of bridge consists to two crowns that go over two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), restoring the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Dental bridges are highly durable and should last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

What does getting a fixed bridge involve?

Getting a bridge requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown, accurate impressions (mold) are made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. A temporary bridge is placed on the teeth that have been prepared.

The laboratory procedure requires multiple try in visits where the bridge is adjusted for fit, function and esthetics. The permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.

Implant Retained Tooth Replacements

Replacing a single tooth or multiple teeth frequently can be achieved with dental implants. Implants have been around for millennia with iron nail like structures found in ancient remains to replace teeth! The modern implant era emerged in the late 70’s and early 80’s with some very exciting discoveries about bone biology. Today dental implants are an important part of any patient treatment plan to replace teeth missing due to decay, gum disease, birth defects, trauma and other causes!

The implants we use and recommend are highly researched pure titanium implants that when properly placed provide long term stable replacement for missing teeth. The titanium is placed into the jaw bone and the bone is allowed to grow into the implant. This process is known as osseous-integration. After the bone has grown into the implant (generally 3-4 months), it is possible to fabricate and attach an esthetic crown or bridge to the implant(s) and restore esthetics and function. On occasion, depending on the amount and quality of the bone, it is possible to place the implant and immediately place a temporary restoration…this is called immediate loading… Dr. Wolff will speak with you about the pros and cons of these procedures. He performs virtually all types of implant restorations and even places some implants (depending on the individual case).

There are conditions that reduce the success rates of implants. Smoking and uncontrolled diabetes are both negative in implant survival. After an evaluation to ensure that you have good oral health and adequate bone tissue and appropriate oral hygiene, Dr. Wolff helps plan the best restoration of your missing teeth! The planning and care does not end with a lifelike restoration. Routine dental preventive care combined with regular brushing and flossing can give you years of enjoyment with your dental implants.

Removable Dentures and Partial dentures

Missing all your teeth not only affect your ability to speak, chew, eat food and smile but they may also change your appearance, allowing facial muscles to sag, making you look older. Dentures and partial denture can help replace missing teeth and bone structure rejuvenate your oral health and smile. When you lose all or most of your teeth on your upper and or lower arches, bone is slowly lost. With careful efforts Dr. Wolff will help develop generate a full or partial dentures. These prosthetic teeth attach to a gum-colored base and create a full smile. This is a painstaking meticulous process that involves multiple visits with Dr. Wolff and dental technicians. The highest quality materials are utilized to fabricate your teeth and together Dr. Wolff and you will work to develop an esthetic new dentition. Partial dentures usually are attached to remaining healthy teeth. Complete dentures cover more of your soft tissue (like the palate on your upper teeth) and use “suction” to help stay stable in place. In cases where the dentures do not stay stable in place, Dr. Wolff may recommend the placement of a implants to improve retention of the denture. On occasion Dr. Wolff may recommend a denture adhesive. As with all dental work…home care and professional preventive care needs to be scheduled and maintained.