When you lose a tooth, it can be devastating. Depending on where in your mouth that tooth was, you could lose one or more functions that you rely on daily. A missing tooth can change the way you smile which can impact your self-confidence. A missing tooth can change how you chew and that can impact your diet. Also, a missing tooth can change how you speak which can harm your ability to communicate.
But isn’t tooth replacement an expensive option?
Some dental procedures can be quite expensive. But when you consider how much your life can be affected by missing teeth, the cost is often worth it. Here is a look at four options if you are missing a tooth.
A Single Dental Implant
This dental procedure is just as the name suggests. It involves an implant being placed into your jawbone and because this option provides such a high level of durability and looks so good, it is a very popular solution. This is the only procedure that will provide you with both a new root and a new tooth.
The process begins with a small titanium post that is implanted under your gums and secured to your jawbone. The body will deposit bone tissue around the implant over time and a crown (a new tooth) will be attached to the post. After it is in place, the dental implant will look and act the same as a natural tooth.
A Dental Bridge
This is another popular non-surgical dental procedure. This is a replacement option that is best suited for situations where more than one tooth is missing but not a full row.
Dental crowns are used on the teeth surrounding the missing tooth. The teeth that are still in place then become the anchors used to support new ones – creating a bridge of teeth.
Once in place, a dental bridge will look and act as natural teeth; however, they are not as durable as dental implants.
Dentures or False Teeth
Dentures are one of the most popular options available to replace missing teeth. They don’t require implants which some people find quite invasive, and can be made quite quickly. Dentures are used to replace all or some missing teeth. For replacement of a full upper or lower jaw of teeth there is the full denture. A partial denture replaces a few missing teeth.
Dentures are made into a plate-like design that sits along the gum line and onto the palate. False teeth replacing the upper jaw of teeth is called an upper while the bottom jaw of teeth requiring dentures will need a lower.
Denture procedure steps can vary depending on many factors, but here is a brief example of the process involved. Impressions of your gums and other information on how the denture should be shaped and the way the teeth need to look are all forwarded to the dental lab. Shortly afterwards, a set of dentures are available for fitting. Once the fit is corrected, dentures will sit comfortably inside the mouth.
False teeth will act and appear like natural teeth permitting all normal activities such as eating, drinking, speaking and smiling. Dentures are not designed to remain in your mouth all day and all night. They require regular brushing like natural teeth and must be left in a soaking solution overnight to keep them from drying out and cracking or warping.
This option for replacing missing teeth is a combination of two of the other types of solutions. It involves a set of dentures that are created in much the same manner as noted above. The main difference is that rather than being held in place with suction, these dentures are attached to dental implants that are strategically located within your upper or lower jaw.
The dentures in this procedure will ‘snap’ into place which provides a greater level of security. With false teeth held in place by implants, they are less likely to shift or slip in much the same way that normal dentures can do at times. They can also be quickly snapped out for cleaning or soaking in a solution overnight.
When you lose one or more of your teeth, it is good to know that you have a few false teeth options to choose from. Plus, just because the replacement teeth are coming from a dentist it doesn’t mean that there are no affordable choices available to you. The four listed above are your most affordable false teeth options.
Your dentist can best advise you on which of these replacements will be the right one to address your missing tooth or teeth. Also, your dentist may offer a payment plan arrangement so that you can slowly pay off your cost over a set period. Many dentists do this now which makes almost all dental procedures more affordable for everyone.