3 Common Ways for Replacing Missing Teeth
Teeth loss can be caused by a wide variety of factors including, gum disease, a genetic condition or injury. There numerous treatment options available if you want to replace a lost tooth or make changes to the overall appearance of your mouth. This article covers 3 most common ways for replacing missing teeth as well all the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Dental implants are considered the most common option for people who want to replace their missing tooth. This option can be used if you want to replace a single tooth as well as several teeth in different areas of your mouth.
During dental implant procedure, your doctor will mount a titanium metal frame or post into your lower or upper jaw. The next step is mounting the replacement tooth to the implant allowing the tooth to remain in place. Generally speaking, dental implants offer a permanent base for a replacement tooth. The cost of dental implants varies and depends on a number of factors. However, studies show that the average cost of a single tooth implant varies between $3,000-$6,000.
Dentists claim that the biggest advantage of dental implants is that they resemble a natural tooth and are extremely durable. Another benefit of this option is that nearby teeth are not involved meaning that the rest of your teeth remain intact.
Just anything else, dental implants also have several disadvantages. You have to keep in mind that this is a surgical procedure. Thus, you have to be in physical condition to undergo this surgery. Another disadvantage is the long recovery process. In some cases, the healing process can take up to several months. Your doctor will not be able to attach the replacement tooth until the dental implant completely heals.
Dental implants are not considered cheap if compared to other replacements methods for a missing tooth. Several insurance companies might cover this procedure, but you will be still responsible for deductibles.
Fixed dental bridge
If you cannot afford dental implants, you can opt a fixed dental bridge. This is an effective option if you miss one or more teeth in the same area. A fixed dental bridge bridges a cap by a missing tooth with the use of artificial tooth or a dental prosthetic. This prosthetic is normally attached to adjacent teeth and bonded in place using dental cement.
Type of materials used and your geographical location will dictate the price of a fixed dental bridge. On average, the price of this option ranges from $3,000-$4,000. Just as with dental implants, a fixed dental bridge can be covered by insurance companies.
One important advantage of dental bridges is that they look and feel like natural teeth. They can also improve the appearance of your natural teeth. Apart from that, dental bridges are generally cheaper than dental implants.
When it comes to disadvantages of dental bridges, it might be extremely difficult to clean around the tooth underneath the bridge. An important detail to be mentioned is that dental bridge entails modification to existing teeth. Therefore, adjoining teeth could be damaged if a bridge was poorly fitted. An infection or tooth decay could be caused if plaque and bacteria seeps underneath the bridge.
Your dentist might recommend you to make use of complete dentures if there is a need to replace all of your teeth. However, you might be a great candidate for removable dentures if you need to replace only some of your teeth. This option involves placement of a replacement tooth attached to a natural-looking pink base.
Your natural teeth will hold and stabilize the removable plastic base in place. However, some types of dentures have a clasp that adjoins to natural teeth. The base will match the color of your gums. As was already mentioned, removable dentures are a great option if you need to replace multiple teeth in one area of your mouth.
Removable dental dentures are cheaper than previously described options and they might be also covered by insurance. Research shows that the average of this option varies between $1,500 and $3,000.
Removable partial dentures feel and look natural in the mouth. Another benefit that comes with this option is that they are less expensive than other options. However, removable partial dentures might be extremely uncomfortable for some people. Furthermore, you will have to remove dentures and clean them before going to bed, which makes them more susceptible to damage.
Impact of a missing tooth
It might be the case that there will be little-to-no impact at all. You might not even notice a gap in the mouth unless you are missing a tooth in the back or side of your mouth. In some cases, your missing tooth can impact the way you speak, eat and cause problems in the long-run. If a missing tooth causes you to chew only on one side, your jaw and facial muscles can be affected.
You can also experience a change in the shape of your mouth as a missing tooth can cause your mouth to shift. In the vast majority of situations, your bite will be changed to compensate for lost teeth causing the remaining teeth to shift. As a result you might get exposed to tooth sensitivity, difficulties with chewing and tooth grinding.
The bottom line
Before committing to any of the aforementioned options, you should talk to your dentist first. All those options for replacing missing teeth have its own pros and cons. They also vary in price, quality and durability. Keep in mind that the cost of those options highly depends on your geographic location, the type of material used and a number of teeth that need to be replaced.
The procedure of replacing missing teeth is normally covered by medical insurance but you will still have to pay deductibles. In addition to that, some dental clinics offer financing plans for replacing a lost tooth. All the aforementioned options are considered effective and can last for years with proper oral hygiene.