A missing tooth can significantly affect how you live your life. It can prevent you from confidently and comfortably smiling, eating, meeting new people, and going about your day-to-day work or school life.
Aside from the social consequences of missing teeth, there are also several oral health concerns that you may experience. This includes the shifting of teeth that may cause spacing. It can also result in improper bite and jaw joint problems.
If you are suffering from a missing tooth or teeth, it is important to consider replacement options before irreversible problems arise. At Midpark Dental, we have a broad range of treatments for you to consider. Carry reading to learn about these options and the pros and cons of each. At the end of it, you should have a better understanding of which of these can help restore your beautiful smile.
Tooth Replacement Options
With several treatment options to choose from, having an understanding of your goals and expectations can greatly help with deciding. Discuss with your dentist how you want your smile to look and your non-negotiables for treatment.
The main factors to consider are the type of replacement – whether you want it fixed or removable, and the number and location of the missing teeth.
A dental implant is a fixed screw embedded in the jawbone. It acts as a replacement for a tooth root and serves as a foundation for the replacement tooth. This is the most modern tooth replacement option. Because of its biomechanical property, where it is fused with your bone, it can mimic the look and function of a natural tooth.
Getting a tooth implant involves a meticulous and lengthy process, but the outcome is definitely worthwhile. After surgically placing the implant into the bone, it should heal for a few months to ensure that the bone wraps around the implant. This secures an anchor for future tooth replacement. Once completely healed, your dentist will fit a crown on top to complete your smile.
Pros of dental implants:
- Most natural-looking tooth replacement
- Permanent and lifetime treatment
- Encourages normal tooth functions
- Prevents bone loss
- Hassle-free, minimal to no long-term maintenance
Cons of dental implants:
- Procedure can take up to 6 months
- Expensive treatment
- Possible risk of infection
This is recommended if you have 3 – 4 adjacent missing teeth. An implant-supported bridge involves an implant on both sides of the space to help anchor a dental bridge on top of it. The fixed bridge closes the space while being properly supported by a solid foundation through dental implants placed on each end.
Pros of implant-supported bridge:
- Provides all the benefits of dental implants for the replacement of several missing teeth
- Keeps adjacent natural teeth intact, no tooth reduction needed
Cons of implant-supported bridge:
- Quite expensive, with the treatment involving two dental implants + a fixed bridge
- Requires multiple dental visits
- Replacement of the bridge is necessary as the restoration ages and the bone decreases
If you do not want implants placed, consider getting a traditional dental bridge instead. It also replaces 2 – 3 adjacent missing teeth. But tooth preparation is done for this treatment in which the teeth on both ends of the space must be reduced. These are called abutment teeth, and they serve to make space for the material of the bridge and anchor it in place.
Pros of tooth-supported bridge:
- Quicker process, up to 2 – 3 dental visits
- No surgery is needed, lesser possibility of complications
- Cheaper option
Cons of tooth-supported bridge:
- Not conservative, needs tooth to be reduced
- Regular maintenance is vital to prevent tooth decay on abutment teeth
- May expedite bone loss if hygiene is not prioritized
Removable partial dentures
Partial dentures are an excellent choice if you have a few missing teeth across the jaw. The most basic partial denture is made from pink acrylic as the base and porcelain teeth. This is a very simple and affordable tooth replacement option that requires no tooth reduction and few dental visits.
Pros of removable partial dentures:
- Less invasive
- Replaces several missing teeth
Cons of removable partial dentures:
- Does not support bone
- Proper cleaning should be done to prevent bacteria and plaque build-up
- Does not appear natural due to clasps on the tooth
- May loosen over time with the loss of bone support
A dental flipper is a temporary partial denture used to replace 1 – 2 missing teeth. It is a provisionary denture recommended to patients who recently had a tooth extraction and are waiting for complete healing of the gums and bone before a final denture is fitted. It may also be for patients waiting for the healing of their dental implant.
Pros of flippers:
- Prevents the awkward phase of no teeth after tooth extraction or other surgical procedures
- Affordable, simple, convenient
- Prevents tooth movement while the area heals
Cons of flippers:
- Will fit loosely after some time
- Does not blend naturally due to hooks on adjacent teeth
- Not as functional as regular partial dentures
Tooth Replacement at Midpark Dental
Avoid the consequences of a missing tooth and discover our options for tooth replacement at Midpark Dental. After understanding your smile goals, our dentist will design a personalized treatment plan to achieve just that.
Aside from our broad selections, we also offer different types of materials for each option. Crowns and dental bridges can be made using metal-porcelain, all-porcelain, or zirconia.
Book an appointment today, and let us help you renew your look with a more confident smile!