What Is the Best Replacement for Missing Teeth?

There's hope for missing teeth

Missing teeth should not spell disaster for your oral health.

What should you do if you’re missing teeth?

When you’re an adult, losing a tooth is significantly less exciting than when you were a kid. Now, instead of the tooth fairy leaving a few dollars under your pillow with the promise of a new tooth growing in, you’re left with a gap in your smile.

But not to worry, there are plenty of people who have lost teeth and are walking around with intact smiles, thanks to the experienced hands of Dr. Bruce Sexton.

Read on to learn about the best replacements for missing teeth.

Reasons for Missing Teeth

There are a number of reasons you might be missing a tooth (or a few). Sports injuries and other impact injuries to the face can outright knock a few teeth out of your mouth. Other times, they can be damaged beyond repair and will require extraction.

Tooth decay is another common reason for missing teeth. Cavities that grow for too long can destroy enough of the tooth that it will need to be removed.

Also, people with advanced periodontal disease can begin to lose teeth as the jawbone and teeth weaken.

Reasons to Replace Missing Teeth

Of course, the most obvious reason to replace missing teeth is for cosmetic purposes, but it goes far beyond that.

A missing tooth can have an unfavorable impact on the rest of your oral health. The jawbone and even your facial structure can suffer without the support of your missing teeth. Plus, other teeth may shift, which could potentially misalign your bite and lead to jaw pain or TMJ disorders. These affect the joint where your jawbone connects to your skull and can cause considerable pain.

In other words, it’s generally a good idea to have your missing teeth replaced as soon as possible.

Tooth Replacement Options

What are your options for tooth replacement? Modern dentistry gives you various options to choose from. Always talk with your dentist about the best tooth replacement option for your situation.

Dental Bridge

A dental bridge can be used to replace one or multiple teeth. The missing teeth are crafted with two empty anchor crowns on either end. These crowns are then fitted over the teeth on either side of the gap in your mouth. These anchor crowns firmly hold the bridge in place.

The benefit of this method is that it tends to be less expensive. However, the anchor teeth often need to be reshaped so the crowns can fit over them. Generally, it’s best to avoid messing with healthy teeth as much as possible.

Partial or Full Dentures (But Only If Multiple Teeth Are Missing)

If multiple teeth are missing, you can opt for full or partial dentures. This is a custom-made arch perfectly fitted to your gums. Usually, you put dentures in your mouth with a special adhesive that’s designed to keep them in place all day long.

Since dentures are removable, you can take them out of your mouth whenever you please. Some people find this nice for ease of cleaning, while others would prefer their teeth stay in their mouths at all times.

Dental Implants

For those in the latter group, dental implants are a great alternative. You can get implants to replace one or multiple missing teeth.

A small titanium post is inserted into the gums to act as a replacement tooth root. The false tooth is then mounted on top of this post. After the procedure, you’ll be able to go about your daily business as before.

That sounds amazing, but how much are dental implants? Well, implants are more expensive up front than dentures or bridges. However, they become more cost-effective over the course of the patient’s lifetime. Bridges and especially dentures often have to be redone a few times, and the cost adds up. Implants generally last the rest of the patient’s life.

Plus, implants most closely mimic nature’s teeth, allowing you to smile, chew, and function as originally intended. Implants are the closest thing to teeth that exist!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants are the closest replacement option you can get to real teeth. Cleaning, eating, talking, and everything else is exactly the same. They also provide support for your jaw and facial structure — exactly as a natural tooth would.

Interested in Tooth Replacement?

The main thing to think about when getting a tooth replaced is choosing the right dentist. The dentist’s experience and skill will have a direct impact on the success of the restoration. A properly made and installed restoration will not have any gaps or areas where food can get stuck and bacteria can fester. These issues can lead to cavities and gum disease. That’s why you should always choose a good dentist. After all, your oral health is important!

Dr. Bruce Sexton has over 30 years of experience restoring smiles, so you can relax knowing your oral health is in capable hands. Plus, the warm, inviting atmosphere in our office will almost make you forget you’re visiting the dentist!

Call today for an appointment!