How to Choose Between Options for Replacing Missing Teeth

How to Choose Between Options for Replacing Missing Teeth from SmileWell Family Dentistry in Torrance, CAThere are several options for replacing missing teeth, and the treatment that is best for you will depend on factors like lifestyle, budget, and dental health. A professional dentist can help you determine what option is appropriate for you.

Options for replacing missing teeth include:

  • Tooth-supported or implant-supported bridges
  • Partial or complete dentures
  • Dental implants

These options for replacing missing teeth have several key differences. When choosing how to replace your missing teeth, you should talk to your dentist about the following factors:

Lifestyle

Your hobbies and eating habits impact the suitability of each tooth replacement option. For example, a distance runner would benefit from a replacement that is more secure and won’t jostle out of their mouth when they run, like a dental implant. Dentures and bridges are still secure but are more suited for a person that lives a less active lifestyle.

Replacements

You should consider how often each of these dental implants needs to be replaced. With proper care, dental bridges last around ten years. Dentures last an average of seven years but must be removed from your mouth each day for proper cleaning. Implants do not need to be replaced.

Recovery time after surgery

Each of these options for replacing missing teeth also has a different recovery time associated with the procedure. Placing removable dentures does not require a surgical procedure and is minimally invasive. Placing a tooth-supported bridge does not require any implants; however, crowns will be added to the teeth on both sides of the gap. Implant-supported bridges, as well as dental implants, require surgery. During this surgery, screws are inserted into the jawbone to secure the replacement teeth. Thus, dental implants require the longest recovery time after surgery.

Amount of missing teeth

Dental bridges are used to replace a gap of missing teeth or multiple missing teeth in a row. While singular dental implants could feasibly be used to replace a gap of teeth, it would require multiple implants to be inserted into the jawbone. Dental implants are most commonly used to replace one or two teeth. Partial and complete dentures can replace more teeth than both bridges and implants. With complete dentures, a whole set of teeth can be replaced.

Cost

Dentures are the least expensive method for tooth replacement. Bridges are more expensive than dentures, and implants are the most expensive. However, since implants do not need to be replaced, implants may be the most economical option in the long term. If you are concerned about your budget for tooth replacement, consult your dentist.

Jawbone health

In order to receive a dental implant or implant-supported bridge, screws must be inserted into your jawbone. Thus, a patient must have adequate jawbone density to receive an implant. Patients that do not have enough jawbone or do not wish to receive surgery can still benefit from dental bridges and dentures.

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