It’s a real kick to the confidence walking around with one or multiple teeth missing. We use our teeth to smile, communicate welcome, to chew and eat, and in speech. Even one tooth gone can have an effect. Up to 92 percent of adults suffer from tooth decay with a high likelihood of missing teeth at some point in their lives.
Upon hearing these options, you may be wondering what would happen if you just didn’t complete a tooth replacement of any kind. There’s a reason why this isn’t advisable. Jawbone density naturally decreases once teeth are removed due to a lack of stimulation in the area normally associated with the tooth root.
Also, any adjacent teeth are likely to start moving out of position. This will destabilize them, potentially affecting your bite, and if left unmanaged, is only going to worsen over time.
Fortunately, there are various tooth replacement options available. Below are the seven most common tooth replacement options:
Option #1: Fixed bridge
A fixed bridge bridges the gap between missing teeth. Through several trips to the dentist, they will place an implant, customize a bridge that sits naturally in the mouth, and then place the bridge.
A fixed bridge looks, feels, and functions like natural teeth. You don’t have to take it out to clean it either.
Option #2: Dental implants
The most common and recommended tooth replacement option are dental implants, for numerous reasons. That said, it’s very possible not every person is going to be a candidate. A professional dentist consultation is needed in order to analyze what the best and most effective option is for teeth replacement.
All of the options included on this list are reliable and work well, though admittedly some do have limitations. Depending on your budget, schedule, and needs, any of these may prove to be a superior choice. The important thing about to remember is there are always options.
Dental implants is an affordable tooth replacement option, long-term solution to a tooth or teeth that are missing. Dental implants involve a patient undergoing a surgical procedure to infuse a replacement tooth to the jawbone. Though they work well with one tooth, dental implants may prove more challenging replacing multiple teeth.
Dental implants bring with them a lot of advantages and benefits, resembling natural teeth both in look and feel. They also will last for years, sometimes decades, without requiring any repairs or replacement.
Option #3: Resin retained bridge
A fixed bridge is ideal for teeth that’s relied on for chewing. Comparatively, an alternative to missing front teeth is what dentists call a resin retained bridge. This type of dental bridge is less durable and meant to be placed in areas that aren’t under so much pressure.
The biggest advantage to a resin retained bridge is that they are considerably less expensive than fixed bridges. This is why if the teeth missing are not essential to eating, a resin retained bridge works.
Option #4: Removable partial denture
A removable partial denture is meant to replace small sections of missing teeth. They work well with chewing and aesthetics. That said, removable partial dentures are less durable than dental implants and can become uncomfortable to wear after a certain amount of time.
These tooth replacement options are affordable and easy to repair, which is a huge benefit to anyone worried about incurring permanent damage to their tooth replacement. The trade-off of having to wear a less comfortable version of a dental implant or bridge essentially though isn’t worth it for a lot of people.
Option #5: Removable complete denture
Removable complete dentures require multiple trips to the dentist to get right and are recommended if you need to replace all of your teeth, as opposed to lesser amounts. Unfortunately, removable complete dentures can be very invasive which is why not many enjoy them.
While they serve an aesthetic and functional purpose, removable complete dentures are also uncomfortable to wear and aren’t designed to be worn for extended periods of time.
Option #6: All on four implant supported dentures
All on four implant supported dentures, near identical to dental implants, use a lesser number of dental implants to support a complete arch of teeth. They are stable and stronger than your average dentures however come at a cost. This subtype of implant dentures generally feel less bulky and sit in the mouth in a more comfortable position.
All on four implant supported dentures do need to be replaced periodically and maintained with some regularity to ensure they are kept in functional shape.
Option #7: Flipper teeth
We know ‘flipper teeth’ sounds very odd. What a flipper is, in dentist’s terms, is a temporary tooth replacement in the form of a partial denture. Flippers are meant to replace unsightly gaps in an emergency. These allow you to smile and talk without feeling self-conscious.
As mentioned, a flipper is temporary in nature and is designed to be replaced at a later date with a more permanent tooth replacement option.