3 Options For Replacing a Missing Tooth

  • A lot of people around the world have a common problem - missing teeth. However, complete tooth loss is a rare condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17% of Americans (aged 65 or more) have total tooth loss. A missing tooth should be replaced, otherwise, it will cause severe health problems, including gum disease, digestive problems, oral cancer, etc. 

    Keep reading to learn about the three different restorative dentistry options for replacing a missing tooth.

    1. Dental implants

    This is a common solution for missing teeth. Dental implants replace tooth roots to prevent bone loss and other consequences. It’s a popular solution because they look and feel like natural teeth. One of the biggest advantages of dental implants is that they are permanent. You may choose them to replace a few teeth, in most cases, from one to two. With proper care, they can last up to 20 years. The installation procedure means the replacement of the natural tooth root with a metal screw that will be used as the base for a cap. After the installation process, it will take some time to heal for several months. This is vital because a metal screw should be securely fused to the bone. After the healing process, your dental specialist will set the cap. Dental implants benefits include:

    • High success rate 
    • Complete smile restoration
    • Durability
    • Prevention of jawbone loss
    • Natural look and feel 
    • No involvement of adjacent teeth

    Nothing is perfect, and dental implants have disadvantages, including:

    • Requires a surgical procedure
    • Requires a lot of dental visits
    • Costs a lot

    If you want to get dental implants, you should have an appointment in a dentistry clinic to determine if you are a good candidate for them. Implants are not for everyone.

    2. Dental bridge

    If you miss one or more teeth in a row, a dental bridge is a good option for you. The bridge consists of two crowns that are anchored to the teeth adjacent to the gap. This option uses your natural teeth as the base. A dental bridge is also a permanent solution that can be made from different materials. The most popular variant is porcelain. They are popular because they are much cheaper than dental implants and look and feel natural. The installation procedure requires abutment teeth preparation, a digital scan of your teeth, and permanent bridge placement. A dental bridge may be beneficial for you because it:

    • Looks and feels like a natural tooth
    • Costs less than implants
    • Has a high success rate
    • Restores your smile
    • Does not require surgery

    Unfortunately, a dental bridge has some disadvantages, which include:

    • Adjacent teeth can be damaged with time
    • Bridges don't last as long as implants.
    • Bridges don't correct bone loss in the jawbone
    • Bridges require putting crowns over the natural teeth

    A dental bridge is a perfect solution if you want to have a fast result and don’t want to have a surgical procedure. If you aren’t a good candidate for implants, you might be a great candidate for dental bridges. 

    3. Dental flipper

    A dental flipper is one of the most common replacements for missing teeth. Flippers are well-known because they cost less than other solutions and create the appearance of natural teeth. Unfortunately, this is not a permanent solution. Flipper rests on your lower jaw fits your mouth plate. Flipper has many advantages, including:

    • They are much cheaper than other solutions
    • They look naturally
    • They don’t require prep works 
    • They are easy to wear
    • They prevent teeth from shifting

    Unfortunately, flipper has disadvantages, which include:

    • Discomfort
    • Low durability
    • Risk of gum disease
    • Risk of gum recession
    • Not permanent solution

    Considering the pros and cons, you should ask your dental specialist what would be a perfect variant for you.

    The bottom line

    If you have a missing tooth, you should replace it. Otherwise, you will have severe health problems. Tooth loss can be caused by lots of factors: from high-speed auto collisions to different diseases. To prevent it, you should maintain good oral hygiene and eat a healthy diet.