The amount of people who have missing teeth is on the rise, with 70% of 45-year-old people missing at least one tooth. This can really put a damper on things, and it has been known to make it hard for one to smile. Thankfully, the advancement of dentistry provides the opportunity to make things a little easier.
There comes a time when a close look needs to be embraced when it comes to figuring out how tooth replacement is handled. To help with that, this guide will cover the top 5 tooth replacement options and what each one brings to the table.
Top 5 Tooth Replacement Options
There is a wide array of ways that you can replace missing teeth, but some tend to be more common than others. Over the years, we’ve been able to identify the most popular procedures embraced by our patients and have provided you with a breakdown of the top 5 tooth replacement options.
1. Dental Bridge
There are many different types of dental bridges, with the most popular ones being supported by teeth that are still in place, and implant-supported bridges that are held in place by dental implants. Regardless of what kind of bridge you choose, they tend to serve one purpose, to fill in the gap left behind by tooth removal with natural-looking teeth.
When it comes down to the fact of the matter, this is one of the top tooth replacement options for those who are missing multiple teeth. As far as price is concerned, this is one of the most affordable options that are available today.
How a Dental Bridge Works
Similar to a dental crown (with the exception of its purpose to replace multiple teeth at once), bridges work to bridge the gap left behind by removing multiple teeth at once. It is anchored either by existing teeth or by dental implants that were put in prior to undergoing the dental bridge procedure. After each end is anchored, fake teeth are used to fill the gap to make sure that things look as natural as possible for you.
The type of material that is used to make up the dental bridge depends upon the type of bridge that you choose to have put in. There are four different options that are primarily used which include tooth-supported fixed bridges (more commonly known as a traditional bridge), an implant-supported bridge, Maryland dental bridges, and a cantilever dental bridge.
Who are dental bridges best for?
Anyone who has had a gap left behind after removing numerous teeth. If a crown (single tooth replacement) can’t be used, this is the next option that is considered. In comparison to dental implants, it’s a lot more cost-effective so for those on a budget, this might be the best option for tooth replacement. Bridges are also beneficial for patients who don’t have enough bone support (especially in their anterior jaws) for dental implants. This is commonly seen in patients who have had missing front teeth for many years.
Advantages of a Dental Bridge
· Budget-friendly as it’s more affordable than competing tooth replacement options.
· Helps you avoid your face from appearing to be sunken in.
· Increases your mouth function to make eating and speaking easier.
· Prevents any teeth that remain from shifting due to missing teeth.
· Single-handedly restores your smile to simulate a fully natural appearance.
Disadvantages of a Dental Bridge
· Around every 10 years, you’ll need to have your bridge replace.
· Could pose more of a challenge when it comes to keeping it clean.
2. Dental Crowns
Crowns provide a straightforward approach to replacing missing teeth. Not to mention, it’s one of the most affordable solutions currently available within the world of dentistry. Simply put, they’re designed to fit over a tooth that has become broken, cracked, or damaged in another way to restore functionality and help replace the crown of the tooth itself.
You will find this procedure to be used for when one has had a large filling or a root canal, but there are other cases where it may be embraced as well. Since it uses the tooth you already have in place to be mounted, the procedure is a lot less time-consuming and your dentist has the opportunity to provide you with a more affordable option than they would be able to if you embraced another method (such as having a dental implant).
How a Dental Crown Works
Getting a dental crown can happen in one of two ways. If your dentist can do so, they may create a custom dental crown in their office to allow for a single office visit that will only last a few hours. They could also send an impression off to a laboratory to have one made for you that is custom fit to where your crown is going to go.
There are many types of dental crowns, but the most popular is one that uses porcelain to provide you with the most natural-looking tooth replacement possible. Other options can include porcelain-fused-to-metal as well as gold crowns. The choice that is best for you depends on a lot of factors which is why you consult with your dentist to go over the various options.
In terms of the procedure, your dentist will smooth the tooth that is going to have the crown place over it, and if a post is used, they will install this as well. If your dentist is unable to make the permanent dental crown, your dentist will place a temporary crown for you to use until the permanent one comes in since it’s best not to leave a tooth uncovered.
Who are dental crowns best for?
A dental crown is best for those who simply need a way to replace the crown of a single tooth to make eating easier and restore the tooth’s structure. It is also a great way to embrace single tooth replacement in a way that restores the beauty of your smile.
Keep in mind that if you have multiple teeth missing in the same area of your mouth, you might want to consider something along the lines of a dental bridge. However, if you want an affordable approach to replace that one tooth that isn’t living up to its potential, this is the way.
Advantages of a Dental Crown
· A simple procedure minimizes the number of dental appointments.
· Can be formed to the natural shape of your tooth for a beautiful smile.
· Can be shaded to naturally blend in with all your other teeth.
· It Is used to help where one might experience a broken tooth or tooth decay.
· Will not cause an allergic reaction or gum irritation.
Disadvantages of a Dental Crown
· Easy to chip, but there are options that are more durable to prevent this.
· You could experience a brief period of discomfort after the procedure.
3. Dental Flippers
Dental implants can get expensive, but this doesn’t mean that you must do without a tooth replacement until you save up the money to get one. Thankfully, there is a temporary solution that’s often embraced when waiting for an implant or permanent dentures.
This is none other than a dental flipper, which is essentially a partial denture that can be removed as needed, but the main difference is that it is usually only for temporary use. Not only does it offer you a chance to have a natural-looking smile while you’re waiting on your permanent tooth replacement solution, but it also blends into your gum line.
How a Dental Flipper Works
Basically, a flipper tooth is made up of acrylic material to help give the most natural look possible when it comes to the tooth. The acrylic tooth is attached to a plate that is colored in such a way that it blends in seamlessly with the natural color of your gums.
Many might say that a dental flipper looks a lot like a retainer with the exception that it has teeth attached to it. This is a common solution that’s embraced while someone waits to undergo a procedure for a more permanent form of tooth replacement. Just like a denture, you can remove it and put it in with ease. You’ll also want to make sure that you take good care of it so that it doesn’t fail before you have a chance to go another route for your dental needs.
Who are dental flippers best for?
If you want an immediate solution that can help you get by, for the time being, this is a great option worthy of your consideration. Just keep in mind that since it is only designed to be temporary, the fit might not be as great, and the lifespan is shorter than other tooth replacement options.
However, this helps you ensure that your smile doesn’t get held back and you still have the functionality that you need to make each bite easier than it would be without having a dental flipper or other types of prosthetic teeth.
Advantages of a Dental Flipper
· Easy to put in and remove to suit your needs at all times.
· Dentures might not be affordable, but flippers have been known for this.
· It might take some getting used to, but they are known to be comfortable.
· Most of the time you can get them the next day, if not the same day.
· Your bites are sure to be a lot easier to take than without a replacement tooth.
Disadvantages of a Dental Flipper
· Lightweight materials are used since this is a temporary solution.
· Over time, the fit can feel a lot looser, but it’s not meant to be long-term.
Just about every part of daily life relies upon being able to eat easily and speak clearly, but many people take these things for granted until they are gone. If you’ve experienced tooth loss or decay, regardless of the underlying reason, dentures can make life a whole lot better.
As one of the most affordable forms of tooth replacement for those who have lost most, or all of their teeth, they provide the opportunity to prevent facial sagging as well as the inconvenience often associated with a lack of functionality among many other things.
How Dentures Work
Dentures are designed to fit over the bone ridge that used to hold your teeth, which creates a suctioning effect to keep them in place. Made of plastic resin to simulate your natural gums, they’re designed to work and appear just like your natural teeth.
There are many kinds of dentures depending upon how many teeth you may be missing, but the concept remains the same. The process is simple, with the initial extraction of teeth being the first step that you take. From there, your dentist will proceed with having the dentures made.
At first, you might find that wearing dentures takes some getting used to, especially when it comes to eating in talking. Over time, your gums and mouth structure will adjust to fit the dentures which will ensure an even better fit for the long-term.
Who are dentures best for?
Those who have experienced the loss of many teeth (or all their teeth) but don’t want to foot the cost of dental implants, this is a great alternative. Dentures are meant to provide a long-term solution that ensures you will no longer have to be embarrassed of your smile or limit yourself to what you can eat.
Advantages of Dentures
· Acts as an easy way to replace every missing tooth you have.
· Much more affordable than dental implants without sacrificing functionality.
· Preserve your facial structure so that you don’t look older than you are.
· Reduce the risk of having further oral health complications associated with tooth loss.
· Remove the limits of what you can eat that you may have had before.
Disadvantages of a Dentures
· For the best fit, you’ll need to have them refitted on a regular basis.
· Must be kept clean or you could put yourself at risk of infection.
5. Dental Implants
Known for being one of the most reliable forms of tooth replacement today, dental implants can give you the opportunity to have your teeth back without having to worry about removing them for cleaning. They are designed to act just like your natural teeth while being a permanent fixture to your smile that you can count on.
This also means that you won’t have to worry about them slipping or coming out of place, as you might with other forms of teeth replacement. Whether you have one tooth that needs to be replaced, or you need a complete set of implants, this is a viable option you’ll want to consider.
How a Dental Implant Works
Getting dental implants requires undergoing a surgical procedure, but it’s one that has been refined over the years to make it a lot more comfortable and efficient. Simply put, posts will be installed into your gum line to mount the artificial teeth on.
Once the posts are put in, you will be given time to let your mouth heal while the artificial tooth (or teeth) is made. Each implant is custom to ensure the best fit as well as prevent it from having a rather short lifespan. Once your mouth heals, and the implants are in, your dentist will mount the artificial teeth. Follow-up visits may be required, but this is at the recommendation of your dentist or oral surgeon and based upon your particular situation.
You will have to make some adjustments to ensure that things turn out well when it comes to your dental implants. However, these adjustments are only temporary as they’re meant to ensure that you don’t have to embrace failure before things get back to normal.
Who are dental implants best for?
If you’re seeking the strongest and most effective tooth replacement solution, this is exactly what a dental implant is able to provide. Keep in mind that since it is one of the most advanced options, the price isn’t the cheapest. However, this is one of those cases where you do get what you pay for as other options haven’t been able to outperform implants in most cases.
Advantages of a Dental Implant
· Bone loss doesn’t occur in most cases, as it simulates natural rooting.
· Eating is no longer a risk of breaking your artificial teeth thanks to its durability.
· Having a beautiful smile doesn’t look as natural as it does with dental implants.
· Permanent is exactly what an implant is, and it’s the most permanent option.
· Your speech won’t be affected as it could be with dentures or other options.
Disadvantages of a Dental Implant
· Costly in comparison to cheaper options due to its higher level of quality.
· The procedure is usually conducted over multiple office visits to ensure success.
Will insurance cover tooth replacement?
This depends upon the requirements set forth by your insurance company, but there are a lot of times where they consider tooth replacement to be a cosmetic procedure rather than one that’s medically necessary. It depends on how your tooth loss affects your overall health in these cases.
However, there are dental insurance plans out there that will cover tooth replacement. You can also find plans that are designed specifically to help cover the cost of dental implants or dentures. Just give your local dental office a call to schedule an initial consultation to see what your options may be.
Other Teeth Replacement Financing Options
CareCredit and other third-party financing options are usually made available by your dentist, as it is here at our dental practice. It used to be commonplace to not receive the quality dental care you deserve without insurance, but the industry has changed for the better.
Aside from third-party financing, you could embrace the power of a dental savings plan which will allow you to save on the procedure as well as set back a certain amount of money to cover the cost. Ask your dentist about the options that are available through them, or just give us a call and we will happily guide you through the process of finding the best dental financing options for your needs.
See Also: Tooth Replacement Costs
Frequently Asked Questions About Tooth Replacement
Can a flipper tooth be permanent?
Yes, because a flipper tooth could be used as a long-term solution for those who might not be able to go with a more permanent type of tooth replacement. Ineligibility could be due to medical reasons or any other reason that your dentist might not consider you to be a good candidate for such.
However, a flipper tooth is removable, and it is mostly used as a temporary solution while you wait to get dental implants or dentures. This is because they have been known to fit a little looser than other options and might not be as comfortable as its alternatives.
Can I get a dental implant years after extraction?
Yes, the number of years that have been passed since you have had the tooth extracted plays no part in whether you can still embrace implants or not. Your dentist will be able to look closely and make sure that it’s still a reliable option that embraces your specific needs.
Can I get a denture for one tooth?
The answer is yes, it’s called a single removable partial denture and is designed for those needing to replace a single tooth. This is a common approach for those wanting to improve their smile and still embrace the level of function that dentures are able to provide when used for tooth replacement.
Can you put a tooth back in if it falls out?
While this does depend specifically on what happened as well as the current state of your tooth, a dentist can try to put it back in its socket. Make sure that you place it in milk immediately (which helps preserve it) and contact your dentist so that you can be seen as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the longer you wait, the less of a chance it will be able to happen without a hence, so time is of the essence.
Do dental flippers look natural?
It is designed to look as natural as possible, and it is also made to blend into the gumline as well. A lot of the time, others will not be able to tell the difference between your dental flipper and your natural teeth. There are rare circumstances that this might not be the case, but for the most part, we have seen them be a natural-looking tooth replacement for our patients.
How do you fix a tooth flipper?
This isn’t something that you’ll want to do at home, especially since the material that it’s made of can easily break if the opportunity presents itself. The best way to repair a dental flipper is to schedule an appointment with your dentist so that they can fix it properly.
Is it hard to talk with a flipper?
It does take some getting used to, but your teeth aren’t on the receiving end up force since your tongue is what you really use for talking. At first, you might dislodge your flipper, so make sure that you exercise caution and put in a little practice when you first get it. Doing this makes it easier to embrace the adaptation you need to be comfortable with your flipper.
Is there a cheaper alternative to dental implants?
Bridges, crowns, dentures, and veneers are all a lot cheaper than it is to get dental implants. While they may not be as high in quality as an implant, they’re still the most cost-effective options that you can embrace within today’s world of dentistry.
Is tooth replacement painful?
There is almost always an anesthetic or other form of sedation embraced when one goes to the dentist to have their tooth replace. Dentistry work has continued to evolve into the most comfortable experience possible. Just make sure that you let your dentist know if you experience any discomfort during the procedure so that they can take the necessary steps to eliminate any pain that’s felt.
What happens if missing teeth are not replaced?
While a missing tooth may be in a place that’s not always visible, there’s still a number of things that can happen because it isn’t there. This includes your gum and jaw bone to deteriorate (causing your face to look like it’s sinking in), your bite not being as effective as it used to be, gaps between your teeth starting to form, your teeth starting to shift, and other teeth becoming overgrown.
What is a snap-on smile?
A snap-on smile is a new way of enhancing your smile while still being removable as well as non-invasive as it requires no advanced dental procedure. A mold of your teeth will be taken, and a set of teeth that you can snap on and off easily is made. The teeth that it uses look completely natural.
What is the best way to replace missing teeth?
For those who want the most function and longest-lasting way to replace missing teeth, dental implants can provide this exact opportunity. Coming in behind dental implants are crowns and dentures which are still able to deliver a positive experience to the patients who count on them.