Options for Damaged or Missing Teeth

If you’re one of millions of Americans suffering from missing or damaged teeth, you have options. You don’t have to adapt to life without teeth. If you have damaged or infected teeth, make an appointment with your dentist for a thorough examination. If you have missing teeth, there are also options for replacing their function in your mouth. Your dentist can develop a treatment plan to meet your needs.


What Are The Options For Fixing Missing Or Damaged Teeth?

Your dentist’s options will depend on the severity of the damage or how many teeth you are missing. Starting with the most basic restorations, some possibilities include:

  1. Bonding, inlays, or onlays. If the damage to your tooth is primarily superficial, using bonded resin inlays or onlays to fill in the missing part of a tooth can protect it from further damage.
  2. A dental crown is a “cap” that fits over more seriously damaged teeth. A crown can hold parts of the tooth together or form a firm anchor for a partial bridge replacing several missing teeth.
  3. Root canal treatments. If the damage to your tooth has impacted its roots, or if the pulp inside your tooth has become infected, a dentist can clean the canal and replace the living pulp with a biocompatible material. A crown is placed on top of the root canal to provide additional protection.
  4. Bridges and dentures. Once damaged teeth are lost or extracted, a bridge or set of dentures can restore the appearance of your smile and provide functional assistance for eating and speaking.
  5. Dental implants. For patients with an entire arch of missing teeth, dental implants can provide a permanent solution. They stay in a patient’s mouth 24/7, functioning like natural teeth. They also prevent bone loss in the jaw that can occur once several natural teeth are missing.

“It is critical to your oral health that missing or damaged teeth receive the proper treatment,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist and the founder of Dr. Carol Ford & Associates in central Phoenix. “The sooner a dentist can intervene, the better for you and your smile.”

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