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Having a full set of teeth is important for a variety of reasons. Obviously, missing teeth can have a negative effect on your appearance, confidence and self-esteem. But missing teeth can make it difficult for you to eat and speak effectively, and can allow you remaining teeth to move and create alignment problems. That can lead to further tooth damage. Also, spaces in your smile give plaque and bacteria even more places to accumulate which can lead to more problems for your oral health.

Dental implants are very popular, since they can strengthen the jaw bone, and can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth, and don’t require any extra care. However, you will need to have healthy gums and enough jaw bone to support them. In some cases, gum and bone grafts can solve this problem. If your jaws have not stopped growing, you may not be an implant candidate. Certain medical conditions or medications can preclude implant placement, and if you use tobacco or illegal drugs and are not ready to quit, your dentist may not recommend implants. If you can’t commit to the proper aftercare, follow-up visits, and good oral hygiene, implants may not be for you.

If you aren’t a good candidate for implants, don’t despair. Dentures and dental bridges are also very effective methods for replacing missing teeth. Our dentist, Dr. Lee J. Cowles, DMD can give you an examination and recommend the best solution for you. If you need a dental restoration in Portland, Oregon, Cowles Dental Care can help. If you would like to schedule a consultation at our office, call 503-255-1506 today.