If you are a fan of the movie The Hangover, then you recall the character Stu, the uptight dentist who pulled out his own tooth. As it turns out, the actor Ed Helms really did have his tooth removed for the movie – or, rather, his dental implant of 20 years. His adult tooth never erupted and when he was a teenager the permanent implant was put in place. Recommended? Hardly. Missing teeth are no joking matter, but they can make for some great comedy – if you’re getting top billing.

It’s Not Movie Magic: Stu’s Missing Tooth

Ed HelmsThe makeup team on The Hangover tested prosthetics and tried blacking out Helms’ tooth but none of the options worked and looked unnatural for the big screen. That one missing tooth, though, was integral to Stu’s character arc and his overall image in the movie. There had to be another way.

Missing teeth are common, but having a perfectly healthy dental implant removed is definitely uncommon. Though Helms was not eager to remove the implant, he told People magazine, his dentist was really into the idea – maybe it’s a Los Angeles thing – most dentists would not recommend removing a strong, secure dental implant. They are, after all, permanent dental restorations. They’re meant to stay in place for a lifetime. No word on whether there were complications in replacing the implant after filming wrapped.

Reasons Patients Need Dental Implants

  • The absent natural tooth: Just like Helms, there are many people in the world who have adult teeth that never formed, for whatever reason, so they couldn’t erupt into their rightful spot. It’s a quirk of nature that occurs in some peoples’ dentition. Thankfully, there are several dental restorations that can fix this smile interruption. While some people will opt for an appliance that is made with a tooth or teeth to fill in the holes in their smile, it is frustrating to know you could be dealing with this mouthpiece for life. That’s why many patients opt for a dental implant instead or, sometimes, a dental bridge.
  • Gum infections: Then there are patients who have other oral health conditions that lead to the loss of a tooth. The most common problem is gum disease. If you have unhealthy gums, eventually, if they are not treated, the tissue around the teeth will loosen and teeth will fall out. Dental implants can replace these missing teeth, but the mouth must be healthy first – a great smile makeover can only occur on a good foundation.
  • Dental trauma: Dental trauma is another problem that is often responsible for missing teeth. You may take a blow to the mouth in a car accident, sporting injury, fall, or otherwise. And the result may be a loose, dislodged, or completely lost tooth. In cases like this, the original tooth could potentially be repaired and put back in place, but quite often the effects are so severe the tooth must be replaced. That requires patience as the damaged area heals.

Get a Dental Implant in Hampton, NH

Whatever caused your missing tooth, whatever the reason behind your oral health problem, there is always a solution to fix it. Contact Smiles by the Sea in Hampton, NH, to schedule a consultation and find out what’s possible for your dental restorations and smile makeover.