Teeth can fall out due to various reasons. You could be involved in an accident that knocks off a tooth or two. Dental caries leads to tooth decay for which you may opt for root canal at a dental office or have the tooth extracted if it is not feasible to save it. Once a tooth is extracted it leaves a gap because teeth do not grow back. You can live with the gap or opt for solutions for missing teeth from a dentist close to you.
Living with missing teeth is not a good idea
Many people ignore gaps between teeth. After all, if you miss a left side molar you can always chew with the right side one but ignoring missing teeth can have repercussions:
- You may not be able to chew food as well as you should and if you chew on only one side it imposes a burden on teeth on that side of the mouth.
- Your speech could be affected, especially if several teeth are missing.
It affects your appearance when you talk and smile, especially if your front teeth are missing.
- These are relatively minor issues compared to the major ones. If there is a gap then the adjoining teeth do not have support. They will eventually weaken and fall out. This is one major reason to go for missing teeth solutions at your friendly dentist.
- The other major reason is that food particles tend to accumulate in gaps. Bacteria flourish and damage teeth and gums. You could have dental caries and periodontitis as a result. Neglect it and bacteria can enter your blood stream and cause cardiovascular disease. The situation does not have to deteriorate to this stage when you can have bridges, crowns, dentures or implants put in place to replace missing teeth.
Ways to replace missing teeth – options and costs
The best time to go for teeth replacement is right after you have had the tooth or teeth extracted and gums have healed.
- If several teeth next to each other have fallen out then the cheapest option is to have a denture prepared by your family dentist.
- If only one tooth has fallen out or a couple of teeth are missing then you have the option of dental bridges and crowns. The pricing for this is in the middle range and it depends on the location of the tooth and number of teeth that must be replaced.
- An implant is the latest solution for missing teeth. You can have an implant for a single tooth and you can have an implant-supported bridge to replace several teeth or to replace all teeth.
- Another option is to select implant-supported dentures. Implants and implant-supported bridges and dentures can provide great function and aesthetics.
The bridge as a dental tooth replacement option
A bridge-crown is a popular, affordably priced prosthetic to replace one or a couple of missing teeth. It works best if the gap is between adjoining teeth because of the mechanism. A false tooth, shaped to fit the gap is supported by crowns on either side. The neighbouring teeth are ground a little bit to take the crowns. Then the crown is glued to the teeth while the false tooth or pontic fits snugly in the gap. Porcelain is a popular choice for bridges since it looks natural and lasts longer. You do have to visit your dentist a couple of times for this procedure. The neighboring teeth are ground to enable the crown to fit snugly after which the dentist makes a mould based on which the porcelain pontic-crown assembly is created. Meanwhile, your dentist may put in place a temporary crown-bridge arrangement. Once the permanent bridge is ready it is cemented in place and it will last for 5 to 10 years or more. The drawback here is that the neighboring teeth have to be groundgrounded down and that makes them vulnerable to decay. Further, the crown and pontic may impose a load that could possibly weaken the real teeth. The resin bonded or Maryland bridge is a removable prosthetic that attaches with the help of wings. It is a removable bridge for a single missing tooth.
Removable dentures are affordable but not the best. Your dentist prepares a mould based on an impression of your gums and then manufactures the removal dentures. These can be uncomfortable and will interfere with taste of food. You have to remove them each night and brush them thoroughly. Further, over time, your bone structure change and gum shape change will force you to go in for replacement dentures. You will find that though implant supported dentures cost more, they are the best solution to replace several missing teeth or all your missing teeth. If you have lost your dentures or if they wear out, do not go for a replacement set. Instead, select implant dentures.
There is nothing quite like your natural teeth but an implant comes close. You can use an implant to replace a missing tooth or to replace several missing teeth or even all your teeth. A removable bridge for one missing tooth is a good option but it does have drawbacks. There are two types of implants your dentist may pick from depending on existing conditions. A subperiosteal implant consists of a metal frame fitted to the jawbone and then when the gum tissue heals then artificial teeth are mounted on posts attached to the frame. The endosteal implant makes use of a titanium screw that is directly embedded into a hole drilled into the jawbone. The gum tissue heals after which a post is put over the implant and then an artificial tooth is cemented over the post. This technique is perfect for a single-tooth implant or for creation of a grouped bridge or denture.
Implants are the best because they do not impose a load on neighbouring teeth as bridge-crown assembly does and it feels natural. It will last for life. If it is a missing front tooth that needs to be replaced then an implant is just perfect in terms of looks and performance. The only drawback is the time it takes for the procedure and associated high cost.
To give you a rough idea of costs of missing tooth replacement:
- A bridge-crown work for a single tooth may range between $ 900 and $ 1200;
- Dentures may set you back by $ 1200 to $ 1600; and
- An implant costs the highest, starting at around $ 3000 for a single tooth and it can go up, depending on the number of implants or complexity of the procedure.
Whether you go for bridge and crown or an implant, there is no going away from the need to replace a missing tooth. The cost may appear high but the cost of neglect and ignoring the condition could be higher. Trucare Dentistry welcomes you to book an appointment to discuss ways to replace missing teeth.