7 Options to Replace Missing Teeth

By In General Dentistry January 11, 2019

Whether you have lost a single tooth due to an injury or are missing a mouthful of teeth, you can choose from several replacement solutions.

You may opt for a traditional method to restore your smile or decide on a comprehensive approach with dental implants. Either way, there are custom-made prosthetics that can meet your needs. This article explores your options for tooth-replacements and helps you find a choice that’s right for you.

An Array of Tooth Replacement Choices

Since not all teeth are the same, dental treatments and tooth replacements are customized to the patient. Most dentists will offer one of these seven tooth-replacement options for your treatment:

  1. Implant-Supported Crown – To completely replace individual teeth, one dental implant is surgically inserted and topped with a life-like crown that is shade-matched to your healthy teeth. Replacing the root prevents other teeth from shifting and helps preserve jaw bone mass.
  2. Traditional Bridge –This prosthetic can replace one or two teeth side-by-side and requires no surgery. The artificial tooth uses crowned, healthy adjacent teeth as anchors. Dental bridges are generally made of porcelain-fused-to-metal, but all-ceramic options are also available. Multi-unit bridges can replace several teeth in a row.
  3. Implant-Supported Bridge – When supported by at least two implants, a bridge can replace several missing teeth in a row. This method provides additional support for the jaw bone, as dental implants prevent common issues related to missing teeth, like accelerated resorption.
  4. Partial Denture – If you are missing several teeth at differing places in the smile, a partial denture can be fashioned to replace them. This appliance is generally made of acrylic and clips on to your remaining teeth to provide stability.
  5. Traditional Full Dentures – When you have no healthy teeth left, a full, adhesive-based denture can restore your smile. These restorations are made of acrylic or porcelain for a lifelike design. Dentists generally discuss shade-matching before they are crafted at the dental lab.
  6. Overdentures – Removable full or partial dentures can be stabilized with two or more implant posts. This approach is a good compromise between traditional and implant-supported tooth replacement solutions.
  7. Implant-Supported Dentures – Usually, when receiving this secure and permanent version of traditional dentures, any unhealthy teeth will be extracted so that a proper impression of your oral contours can be obtained. This detailed mold ensures your dentures fit comfortably, provide function, and compliment your face. Four to six implant posts per arch are surgically inserted to deliver a stable and natural hold.

Implant-supported dentures offer both full restoration of your smile and the stimulation required to maintain a healthy jaw. When teeth are missing, the underlying bone shrinks and changes your physical profile. Dental implants help prevent this issue from causing irreversible damage to the smile.

Consider Your Options

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right tooth replacement method. Your age, health, and finances all play a role. While implant-supported restorations are generally agreed upon as healthier, many other options are available that accommodate both budget and health.

If you are worried about your jaw health, there are preparatory procedures that can strengthen it enough to make you eligible for implant placement. Call us to learn more!