Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 6-10-2021
Maybe you didn’t realize how your habits were damaging your teeth, perhaps you didn’t take care of them, or maybe you were just unlucky about how the dental health cards were dealt.
Regardless of how you got here, you now find yourself in a situation where you’re desperately in need of a good replacement tooth. However, you’ll likely find yourself dazed and confused by the available options when you begin to explore them. Rather than be discouraged, take this as an opportunity to learn about oral health and hopefully get the insight you need to make the best decision for yourself.
Probably the most common method of tooth replacement, dental implants are a very reliable type of tooth substitute that looks and feels just like the real deal. These permanent solutions work best if you need to replace a single tooth or multiple missing teeth in different areas scattered throughout your mouth.
As long as you take the right precautions, you can expect these implants to last for a long, long time. The process can be somewhat complex. It first replaces your tooth’s root with metal screws, used primarily as the anchor for the false tooth placed on top. Once the screws have been put into place, you will need to let the implant heal for a few months. Once that recovery period has ended, the implant is essentially fused to your jawbone, allowing for the placement and securement of a dental crown.
This option is highly effective, provides a natural look and feel, and doesn’t damage neighbouring teeth. They’re almost perfect, except for the fact that they can be very expensive, ranging anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 each. There’s also a somewhat invasive process involved, requiring surgery and healing time.
This solution works best when you have a lot of missing teeth in a row. Rather than implant this line of teeth individually, you can save a lot of unnecessary and lengthy struggle by using an implant-supported bridge. Essentially the teeth at the two ends of the gap are secured as they would be with implants and will help to hold the teeth in the middle without any screwing in.
This is a good choice because it’s more affordable, looks natural, and functions essentially the same as implanting on all of those tooth areas.
However, they are limited in their use case and will eventually need to be swapped out for fresh ones.
Removable Partial Dentures
This option isn’t just something for the older among us. These removable dentures are a comparatively easier choice to replace a set of missing teeth and can operate somewhat like dental implants.
Rather than replace all your teeth, it essentially is a mechanism that can be locked into place, with teeth scattered throughout its frame so that it all locks into place at the same time, restoring your look and confidence.
This option is highly adaptable, with the ability to easily add more replacement teeth if you lose more in the future. Plus, they’re quite cheap and easy to resolve issues with. Repairs and replacements are no big deal. Best of all, there’s no complex process involved, you simply need to pop it in, and you’re good to go.
However, the biggest problem is that these dentures can be somewhat uncomfortable, they need to be cleaned regularly, and won’t look as natural as dental implants due to their metal attachments being visible.
Another cheaper option is the flipper, whose name belies its function. That is, it’s essentially like the above denture, except it’s only a single tooth that can flip in and out of its location. It doesn’t need any neighbouring teeth to play nice, and it’s cheap and painless.
Plus, it’s not as heavy as a full denture. However, remember that it’s as comfortable as other options and, more importantly, is almost always used as a temporary option. It can also break somewhat easily.
A tooth-supported bridge is another mechanism that takes advantage of existing teeth. It works similar to the implant bridge system but uses your healthy teeth to anchor the bridge rather than actual implants. It uses a crown and adhesive to stick the bridge into place, providing a similar level of realism and feel, minimal surgery, and at a much lower cost than implants.
However, you will find that the teeth it attaches to will have to be filed down to properly place the bridge over them, and they can get damaged over time if things weren’t installed correctly. They also create the possibility that food and debris could become lodged underneath the bridge.
The Final Word
There are a ton of options you can explore when it comes to finding a replacement for your missing teeth. The range we have listed here starts at the seemingly perfect albeit expensive to the cheaper, less comfortable options that will still do the trick on a tighter budget. It’s a choice you’ll have to make, especially when it comes to your long-term happiness.
So there’s a lot to do here when it comes to exploring the best option to replace your teeth. Considering how fundamental they are to your look, happiness, and satisfaction, you must get the best option for your budget and needs.
So absolutely take your time. Think through the best option for you, and make sure you follow a combination of your gut instinct and rationality.