What Are The Best Options To Replace Missing Teeth?

Medically Reviewed By
Jonathan G. Campbell, DDS, FAGD
One of the top rated Dentist in Salt Lake City, UT
A Smiling girl with a yellow Jacket

There are many reasons why you may have missing teeth in your mouth. You may have experienced tooth decay or gum disease in the past, and this weakened the oral structure to the point where you started losing teeth. You may also have suffered some kind of traumatic injury to the mouth or you may have inherited a genetic condition which contributed to tooth loss. Whatever the reason for your missing teeth, you'll probably want to replace them as soon as possible.

If you don't replace them promptly, you may develop a sunken look in your face or features when multiple teeth are missing. There are a number of approaches you can take to replace missing teeth, with some being better than others. You may be restricted in the options available to you by the cost of a particular tooth replacement strategy. In any case, you'll have the option to review possible approaches to tooth replacement, and decide on which one best fits your circumstances.

When you have an initial consultation with our dental practitioners at Legacy Dental of Salt Lake City, we can take all these factors into account. We'll discuss with you the best possible approach to replacing your missing teeth, and if budget is an issue, we'll make you aware of some alternatives that might make things more affordable. The information below describes some possible approaches to tooth replacement, so you can have some background information before consulting with us.

You need to understand this material to learn more about dental implants to begin the process of replacing any missing teeth. It's a good idea to have missing teeth replaced as soon as possible - both for the sake of appearances, and for better oral health. When you have one or more teeth missing in your mouth, the others in the immediate area tend to tilt in the direction of the missing tooth, and that can throw off your whole biting and chewing operation. By replacing a missing tooth promptly, you can avoid all that and retain the good health and good structure of your remaining teeth.

Dental implants

You can use dental implants either when you're replacing a single tooth, or when you have several teeth that require replacement. This type of procedure involves installing a titanium implant into the upper or lower jaw where the tooth is missing. Then an abutment can be attached to the titanium post, and a replacement tooth or crown can be mounted on the abutment.

Essentially, a dental implant provides a permanent foundation for a replacement tooth and serves as the root of a tooth. The advantage of having a dental implant installed is that it's the closest you can get to a natural tooth, and it will last for decades. Another advantage of using dental implants is that they do not involve relying on nearby teeth like a fixed bridge would. That means all the rest of the teeth in your mouth can stay intact and be uninvolved with the replacement process.

The disadvantage of having dental implants installed is generally considered to be the long-time necessary for it to be finalized. Once an implant is installed, it will take between three and six months for the titanium post to fuse with the jaw bone. This is a necessary step which provides an anchor for the eventual replacement tooth that will be installed. Another possible drawback of using dental implants is the cost, which can be significant. If it's necessary to do related procedures like bone grafting or tooth extraction, it can climb even higher. Salt lake city dentist provide  finance option, one can check according to their need

Fixed dental bridges

If you consider the cost of a dental implant too high, you may be a good candidate for a fixed dental bridge. A dental bridge can be used if you're missing one or more teeth which were situated in the same general area. Essentially, a fixed bridge uses a dental prosthetic or artificial tooth which gets attached to nearby teeth and then bonded in place. This strategy relies on nearby teeth in order to support the missing tooth, and that may impact neighboring teeth in the long run.

One of the biggest advantages of dental bridges is that they look and feel very much like your original teeth. They're also considerably cheaper than dental implants would be, so this may be the way to go if you're on a tight budget. A good cosmetic dentist will make you feel like it's your original teeth. One of the disadvantages of dental bridges is that it can be difficult to ensure the tooth under the bridge gets completely cleaned during brushing. Another downside is the fact that it requires the support of nearby teeth in order to support the bridge. Over a long period of time, this can damage the adjacent teeth. If you ever feel sudden pain in gum or your teeth then seek to the dentist near you in such emergency condition. It's also possible for bacteria and plaque to creep under the bridge, and that could lead to an infection or to tooth decay.

Removable partial dentures

If you need to replace many teeth or all of the teeth on an upper or lower arch, your dentist may suggest partial dentures. Partial dentures are appliances which consist of replacement teeth that get attached to a pink base which mimics the appearance of your gums. Your remaining teeth will help to keep the removable plastic base in place, and in some cases, a clasp is also installed. This can be a very natural looking approach, since the teeth will be colored to match your other teeth, and the base will be colored to match your gums.

Probably the biggest single advantage of using partial dentures is that they're much less expensive than dental implants, and are also cheaper than fixed bridges. In addition, they will generally look and feel quite natural in your mouth, so you won't be aware that you have missing teeth. Some of the disadvantages of partial dentures include the fact that many patients find them uncomfortable until they get used to wearing them.

It will also be necessary to remove your dentures each day for cleaning, and prior to bedtime. Even though this doesn't any more than normal hygiene would, it can be a problem if you were to drop the dentures in the process. This would require some kind of repair work on your dentures, or might even require complete replacement. Even if a full replacement was necessary however, the cost of dentures is much less than other tooth replacement strategies, so it could probably be managed more readily.

Legacy Dental blog is proudly run by our Salt Lake City dentists team; We share knowledge about general dental care and practices. Apart from running this blog, we offer various dental services such as general dentistry, emergency dentistry, and dental implants for the community in Salt Lake City, Utah

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