Want the good news? For most people missing teeth, there are some excellent tooth replacement options…
If you’re missing one, several or all your teeth, you’ll know too well how difficult it is to be living without teeth Perhaps you cover your mouth in public whenever you smile or laugh. Perhaps eating or even talking is a problem. And, if you haven’t replaced your natural teeth in some time, your jawbone can begin to resorb, negatively affecting the aesthetics of your face, causing the mouth and lower half of the face to fall in and your skin to sag.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the preferred dental solutions for missing teeth (including replacement options after extraction), but before you try to determine what’s best for you, please book in to see a dental professional and discuss your situation in person. Solutions may be available that you’ve never thought of (such as All on 4 dental implants or the Same-Day-Teeth procedure, and at Aria Dental, our team is dedicated to helping you find the best solution for your budget and lifestyle.
Solutions for missing teeth
If you’re looking for missing teeth solutions, whether it’s replacing your front tooth, a rear tooth, several or all teeth, your options fall into three main categories: dental (tooth) implants, dental bridges and dentures. All three options have their pros and cons, depending on your budget, health, location of your missing teeth and aesthetic objectives.
The most preferred tooth replacement option is dental implants. This option is where a metal post (generally made of titanium) is positioned (anchored) into the jawbone beneath the gum. This biocompatible titanium post will fuse with the jawbone (osseointegration) to provide a stable base for the artificial tooth. Tooth implants are often the prefered option because they are designed to look, feel and function like natural teeth. Unlike other replacement solutions, they can also help prevent bone loss by providing the stimulation the jaw needs for bone volume.
Most people can have dental implants, providing you are fully grown adult with a healthy jawbone and don’t have advanced gum disease. There are also some health conditions which may prevent you from having implants. This can be determined by visit to your dental professional or doctor.
Dentures are a removable artificial teeth option that can be taken out for cleaning or whenever required. Although not as stable as implant-based options, dentures are individually tailored to your mouth and can be an alternative option for patients with low bone density.
The downside of dentures is that they aren’t anchored to your jawbone like dental implants, so chewing and speaking may take some practice. Some people find that upper dentures feel bulky and cumbersome in their mouth, and tasting food is more difficult. For those that wear lower dentures, looseness is a common problem. Consequently, many lower denture wearers feel embarrassed about eating or talking in public.
Dentures need replacing and adjusting periodically, due to your mouth changing shape over time, so the time and cost involved must be factored in.
Dentures are the most cost-effective solution though, so if budget is a concern, they are worth investigating. In particular, if you only have one missing tooth, or a couple of missing teeth, wearing a partial denture may not be as uncomfortable as a full denture.
Sometimes, if a patient is having all teeth extracted (and is electing to have dentures and not implants), they will be given an immediate denture – immediately after extraction. Immediate dentures help with healing by protecting your gums and sockets, and preventing bleeding. They also allow the patient to leave the clinic with dignity, looking like they still have a set of teeth.
Later, once healing is complete and the gums have settled, they will be given their new removable dentures to wear, which will be made of higher-quality materials.
Dental bridges have long been considered a common tooth replacement solution. As opposed to tooth implants, bridges are fixed to (and supported by) adjacent teeth. This can be a disadvantage if those natural teeth are healthy, as they may require reducing to support the replacement tooth. However, bridges can enhance your cosmetic appearance and may be more suitable if your surrounding teeth have fillings or require further dental work in the future.
Get the best care & advice from Perth’s dental implant experts
At Aria Dental in Perth, our highly trained implant dentists can help you enjoy the best dental health. Whether you’re considering dental implants or needing advice on your existing implants, our experienced dentists and leading prosthodontist can help you.