If you’re missing teeth, you’re not alone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 26% of adults in the US are missing at least one tooth. Whether you lost your teeth because of gum disease or an accident, there are many solutions available to help you restore your smile.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top three solutions for missing teeth: dental implants, dentures, and dental bridges.
We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of each solution so you can wisely decide which option is best for you.
Why You Need to Replace a Missing Tooth
There are several reasons why you need to replace a missing tooth:
- It helps to restore the function of your bite. When you have gaps between teeth, it can throw off your whole bite and make it difficult to chew properly.
- Replacing a missing tooth helps keep the rest of your mouth and teeth healthy and in alignment. When one tooth is missing, the others can shift out of place, leading to dental problems.
- Tooth replacement gives you back your smile. Having a nice, complete set of teeth makes you look and feel great, so you should not wait to get that gap filled in.
- When you lose a tooth, the bone in your jaw begins to deteriorate. Replacing the tooth helps to stimulate new bone growth, which can prevent bone loss and keep your jaw healthy.
3 Solutions for Missing Teeth
There are many solutions available for people who are missing teeth. The best course of action will depend on the individual’s needs and circumstances. Here are three common solutions for missing teeth:
This is a surgical procedure in which artificial teeth are placed in the jawbone. Dental implants are a more permanent solution to missing teeth that can last a lifetime with proper care.
The dental implant procedure is made up of three steps:
- A metal post is surgically implanted into the jawbone
- A connector piece, called an abutment, is placed on top of the metal post
- A dental crown or artificial tooth is placed on top of the abutment
The entire procedure usually takes several months to complete.
Pros of Dental Implants
- Look and function just like natural teeth
- Very strong and durable
- Can last a lifetime with proper care
- Stimulate new bone growth
Cons of Dental Implants
- They are a surgical procedure, so there is some risk involved
- They are a more expensive tooth replacement option
- The recovery process can take several months
Dentures are false teeth that rest on the gums. They can be removed and put back in place as needed. Dentures may need to be replaced periodically as they can become loose over time.
There are different types of dentures, and the right type will be determined by the number of teeth that are missing.
Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing. They can be used on either the top or bottom jaw.
Partial dentures are typically used when some of the natural teeth remain. They are often held in place by metal clasps that attach to the natural teeth.
Pros of Dentures
- More affordable than other tooth replacement options
- Can be removed and put back in place
- Easy to clean and require minimal care for good oral health
Cons of Dentures
- Can become loose over time
- Don’t look or function like natural teeth
- May need to be replaced periodically
A dental bridge is a false tooth held in place by adjacent natural teeth. Dental bridges can fill a gap left by one or more missing teeth.
There are different types of bridges, such as traditional bridges, cantilever bridges, and Maryland bridges. Your budget, dental problem, and specific circumstances will determine the type of bridge you need.
Dental bridges work by anchoring the false tooth (or teeth) to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. This makes them very stable and helps restore your bite’s function.