The Right Replacement: Dental Options in Replacing Lost Teeth

Close up on a man smiling while he is missing a tooth

Tooth loss can happen to anyone, even those who take perfect care of their teeth through good oral hygiene. So, whether you’ve lost a tooth (or teeth) due to an accident, a collision while playing sports, poor oral hygiene, or other health issues, lost teeth can affect your appearance, confidence, health, and quality of life (i.e. making it harder or painful to eat). Which is why the next step one should take after losing a tooth, is to have it replaced. Luckily, there are many teeth replacement options out there, and it’s best to know all your options so you can choose one that best suits you.

Implants

An implant is a permanent and effective solution in replacing one’s missing tooth (or teeth). These implants are screws that are installed in place of your missing tooth and replaces the root of the tooth. A prosthesis such as a crown or a denture is attached to the implant, effectively replacing your teeth and makes it feel a lot more natural. This doesn’t’ require any adjacent teeth to be adjusted, unlike other teeth replacement options. Implants can be a bit more expensive than the other options in the list and require a surgical operation when inserting the implant into your jaw bone, so it’s best to have a more in-depth discussion with regards to getting dental implants with your dentist in London, UK as well as your dental insurance.

Fixed Bridges

A fixed bridge (also known as fixed partial denture) is a permanent solution for tooth replacement wherein the teeth on either side of the missing tooth (referred to as abutment teeth) are cut down to allow for a crown to be attached — this crown covers the abutment teeth and supports a fake (or “pontic”) tooth between them.  This option is a lot cheaper and quicker than implants and also allows for both normal functions (chewing) as well as aesthetics. However, it does involve damaging or cutting healthy abutment teeth just to accommodate the new crown, and doesn’t prevent jawbone deterioration as well as implants.

Removable Partial Dentures

You’ve probably seen elderly people wearing full dentures to replace all their lost teeth in real life or TV shows and movies. Removable Partial Dentures (RPD) functions quite similarly to full dentures but only replaces one or a few missing teeth. RPD utilises metal clasps to hold the partial dentures in place; however, there’s still a chance of the dentures moving when eating or talking which can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing. Still, it’s an affordable, quick, and temporary solution for those who lost teeth. You may even opt to wear partial dentures while you’re still deciding between or saving up for fixed bridges or implants.

Flipper

Flippers or Temporary dentures are very similar to RPDs but aren’t as sturdy, bulky, and expensive. These are a short-term replacement for a missing tooth and is usually used while waiting for the site of the missing tooth to heal before a bridge or implant procedure. They’re called flippers since they flip in and out, which means that they’re more of an aesthetic filler.

Conclusion

Little girl with missing tooth

It’s comforting for one to know that there are many remedies available to replace lost teeth. Although it’s still important to heed what your dentist says and recommends as not all of these options may be available due to different factors, knowing your options allows you to make an informed decision.

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