How Do You Replace a Missing Tooth
If you have a missing tooth – or several – there are numerous options available to restore the integrity of the tooth and your smile. Nearly 4% of adults between 20 and 64 have no teeth remaining, but a far larger percentage have at least one tooth missing.
At Blue Water Dental, it's our mission to inform you that missing teeth can:
- Lead to bone loss in the area of the mouth missing a tooth
- Negatively impact your smile
- Cause other teeth to shift
Your missing tooth goes well beyond a difference in your smile. Instead, the lost tooth will cause other issues that we've listed above. Fixing your smile and replacing the tooth can help minimize the side effects of a missing tooth.
In fact, there are many options available to replace your missing tooth and restore your smile.
Before we discuss the options for replacing your missing tooth or teeth, let's discuss another important topic: which tooth replacement option is right for you.
What Missing Tooth Replacement Option to Choose
The goal for your missing teeth and your lifestyle will dictate the best tooth replacement for you. Unfortunately, we can't assess your teeth online to tell you which treatments would be best for you, but we can conduct an exam of your teeth in our office.
A few of the things to consider when replacing a tooth are:
- What foods you like to eat
- Sports activities
We've had singers come into our office confident that dentures would be a good choice for them, but when you sing, dentures can easily come out of your mouth. There are many lifestyle situations that make one replacement option a better choice than others.
Since we don't know the answer to crucial questions that we need to ask you, it's essential to have a complete exam done and then we'll discuss your options with you.
There may be many ways to restore your smile, and we'll discuss all of these options with you. However, the choice is ultimately up to you and your budget when replacing your missing teeth.
What is the Most Durable Tooth Replacement?
If your teeth need replacement, some methods are far more durable than others. Of course, we always make highly durable replacements for your teeth, but each option will perform slightly differently.
For example, these are the most common forms of tooth replacement:
- Dental Implants: A dental implant offers the most natural-looking method of tooth replacement. When you have an implant inserted into your jaw, it remains in position forever. Then, a titanium post is inserted into the jawbone, the gums heal around the post, and the tooth is placed. This advanced procedure takes months to complete; sometimes, procedures are done with oral sedation. So, if you need a rapid restoration, this isn't the option for you.
- Bridges: Another form of tooth replacement is to have a bridge created to restore the tooth. Bridges use dental crowns and a bridge to connect to the two surrounding teeth to hold the new fake tooth in place. The procedure is non-surgical, and the process is faster than dental implants. With that said, the drawback is that you need enough surrounding teeth to hold the bridge in place to avoid a dental emergency like a root canal.
- Dentures: A denture may not be the most durable method to replace teeth, but it's a fast process and very cost-effective. Many patients will have dentures made while they wait for their bridge or implant.
Replacing your missing teeth is crucial to the health and well-being of your mouth and jawbone. Unfortunately, while there are many solutions listed above, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.
Dentures may be your only available option if you don't have insurance or the budget for an implant, bridge or other cosmetic procedures that can enhance your smile like crowns, veneers or teeth whitening.
However, our team can sit down and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each type of tooth replacement option with you. Then, we'll do our best to come up with a solution that will replace your tooth with a natural-looking replacement that is comfortable and allows you to smile and eat with confidence.
Will Age Change My Tooth Replacement Options?
Maybe. By the time a child is between 12 and 14-years old, they'll have lost all of their baby teeth and will have their permanent teeth grow in. If a child has lost their permanent teeth, implants, or something similar may not be a good option just yet.
With that said, the majority of our patients can choose from multiple tooth replacement options.
We find that the biggest factor when choosing tooth replacement is:
Active lifestyles demand a sturdy tooth replacement, and it doesn't get much better than dental implants if you want a durable, permanent tooth replacement option. When you have implants, you can wake up with a smile on your face.
However, we're confident that we'll be able to find a solution that will help restore your smile no matter your age. The first step is to come into our office for an exam and discuss your options with one of our professionals.
Are There Any Risks of Waiting for Tooth Replacement?
Yes. Resorption is a major concern and one that many people don't know about. When you're missing a tooth, your body stops sending signals to the area of the jaw that sends calcium to this area of the body.
Instead, your body will begin taking calcium from the jawbone and will distribute it to other areas of the body.
If you want to have dental implants, the loss of calcium is a concern because it weakens the bone in the process. In addition, your jawbone must be strong enough to support the titanium post put in the jaw.
Resorption may make it so that the bone is weak, and we may or may not be able to correct the issue. However, in the best-case scenario, we're able to restore the integrity of the bone so that the implant is possible.
If you're considering a tooth replacement, contact us to schedule an appointment at 1.604.534.2324.