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Everything you’ve ever wanted to know…and then some

Did you ever wonder if there is a difference between diet soda and regular soda when it comes to your teeth? Or, maybe you have always questioned what those numbers are we call out during your exam. What is a "Prophy" anyway?! Our blog is meant to answer all of your burning (or weird) questions about dentistry. Make sure to follow us and share on social media! Chances are good if you are wondering about something…so is everyone else!

Filling in the Gaps: Restoring Your Smile & Quality of Life

Posted on April 27th, 2022

Augusta dentist, Dr. Jonathan Bullard of Bullard Dental discusses the tooth replacement options available to replace missing teeth and restore your smile.Life is full of unexpected surprises, and while we’d love for all of them to be smile-inducing, that’s not entirely realistic—and there may be many reasons you hide your smile. If you’re hiding your smile because of one or more missing teeth, we want you to know you’re not alone. In fact, 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, and more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth at all. 

Whether the cause is tooth decay, gum disease—#1 on the list of reasons, with 50% of Americans over the age of 30 having the most severe form of periodontitis—illness, or injury, there are solutions. Dr. Jonathan Bullard at Bullard Dental would like to fill you in on your options, which have expanded and improved over the years thanks to technological advancements and continuing education.

An Ounce of Prevention

You’re probably familiar with the cliché, but in case you’re not, the ending goes: “is worth a pound of cure.” At Bullard Dental, we believe this to be true. We hope to see you smile regularly so we can catch problems in their earlier stages and help you avoid the need for more extensive procedures. If tooth decay and/or infection within your tooth’s pulp chamber is caught in time, we might be able to salvage your tooth with a root canal, inlay or onlay, or a crown

Ye Who Enter Here

If, however, the damage has been done and a tooth needs extraction–or has already left the building–you don’t have to abandon all hope. We can either bridge the divide, or implant some pearls of strength and wisdom. If you need to replace more than a few teeth, partial and full dentures are on your list of options as well, and the dentures of today are more comfortable and natural-looking than the dentures of decades past.

Let’s Get Back Together

If you’ve got a separation between two or more teeth, a little bit of relationship counseling might be helpful… kidding! What Bullard Dental can do is design a dental bridge to restore your smile’s function and beauty. 

If the space where your tooth was has neighbors, a traditional bridge can be placed using those neighbors, which will be prepared and crowned as anchors. If the gap is in the back of your mouth and has only one tooth for anchoring, what’s called a Cantilever bridge can be crafted and bonded for security. The third type of bridge that can replace a missing tooth is called a Maryland. Maryland bridges have metal wings that are bonded directly to your neighboring teeth for support, without the need for preparing and fitting them with crowns.

Finding the Right Fit

If all or most of your teeth require replacement, dentures are another option—one that has expanded and improved over time. Bullard Dental can help you choose which type is best for your case, between conventional, immediate, and overdentures. Going the conventional route means allowing for a healing period before they’re fitted, which can take several months. Immediate dentures can be placed after remaining teeth have been extracted, thanks to measurements being taken and models being created of your mouth and jaw during a preliminary visit. Overdentures are a great option if you have healthy teeth remaining, as they can fit over the top of your tooth roots along with implants, which gives them a more natural feel and appearance. You may experience discomfort during your adjustment period, but we will do all we can to ensure your oral health and function return.

The Long Haul

Whether you’re missing one tooth, a couple of teeth, or all of them, the #1 recommended solution by doctors and patients is dental implants. Their versatility and ability to preserve your jawbone by mimicking your tooth root are unmatched. Dental implants are small posts made of biocompatible titanium that are inserted into your jawbone, fitted with an abutment, and then capped with a beautiful, durable, porcelain crown, bridge, or a full set of dentures. Besides them bearing the closest resemblance physically and aesthetically to your natural teeth, they can also last a lifetime with proper care. 

The Final Verdict

The jury is not out when it comes to replacing missing teeth. It’s important not just because the hole they leave can hurt your self-confidence—it can also hurt your oral health. Surrounding teeth may shift and alter your bite, and without that root, your jawbone starts to deteriorate, causing a sunken-in facial appearance. If you’ve been missing one or more teeth for a while, you know it also impacts your diet and the way you speak. Dr. Jonathan Bullard would be honored to restore your smile to the healthy, beautiful state it deserves. Call Bullard Dental today to make an appointment!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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About Dr. Bullard

Dr. Bullard graduated cum laude from Augusta State University with a business administration and management degree. He served as vice president of his dental class at the Medical College of Georgia where he attained his DMD degree. Rather than entering into private practice directly after dental school, he furthered his education by completing a one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center here in Augusta. Here he enriched his skills in diagnosis and treatment planning, endodontics, oral surgery, dental implants, and cosmetic dental procedures. Dr. Bullard is currently an Associate Fellow in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

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Martinez, GA 30907

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