If you've lost one tooth--or more--to decay or trauma, you likely want to replace it with something that looks natural. Luckily, there are many options to replace missing teeth. If you are sick of hiding your smile or feeling self-confident when you talk, check out these three replacement options for missing teeth to determine which choice is the best for you.
You don't have to be missing all your teeth to get dentures. Partial dentures are available to replace one or more missing teeth. The biggest benefit of a partial denture is the cost because they are incredibly affordable.Your insurance may also cover a large portion of the cost. With a partial denture, your surrounding teeth do not need to be altered, but the metal that holds the partial denture in place may scratch your teeth, causing wear and tear on your enamel, which may lead to decay if not addressed. Partial dentures are also removable, which makes cleaning your teeth easy, but they may slip when you are eating or talking.
A traditional dental bridge uses existing healthy teeth to anchor a false tooth. There are different types of bridges, but most consist of dental crowns and a false tooth. The dental crowns are placed over the teeth surrounding the missing tooth, and they support a fake tooth that sits between them. The end result looks like three separate teeth. Dental bridges are not removable. Your dentist removes the outer surface of the surrounding teeth and uses dental cement to hold the bridge in place. This is a powerful hold that can withstand daily wear and tear. Dental bridges are more expensive than partial dentures, and they alter but protect healthy teeth.
An implant-supported bridge may be a better choice if you have several missing teeth in a row. Instead of relying on healthy teeth to support the fake teeth, implant-supported bridges rely on titanium implants that sit in the jawbone like artificial roots to support the fake teeth. This creates a durable hold because the jawbone fuses to the titanium. Unfortunately, this process is the most expensive. Depending on how long your teeth have been missing, you may also need a bone graft, which increases both the price and time of the procedure.
Having missing teeth can be embarrassing, but you don't have to hide your smile anymore. There are many ways to replace your missing teeth, and insurance may cover some of the cost. For more information about tooth-replacement options like dental bridges, contact a dentist in your area today.