Choosing Between Tooth Replacement Options, and Why You Need Them

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Choosing Between Tooth Replacement Options, and Why You Need Them

tooth replacement options

Have you started hiding your smile to conceal the gap left behind by a lost tooth? About a quarter of adults ages 65 and older have fewer than nine teeth. Another 17% have lost all of their teeth.

Regardless of your age, a missing tooth can cause bone loss, change your chewing patterns, and affect your oral health. Before that happens, consult your dentist about your tooth replacement options. Here are a few to consider that can help stabilize teeth and restore smiles.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a synthetic option for replacing missing teeth from the root up. Your final restoration will look and feel like a natural tooth.

Your dentist can place the implant into your jawbone to support a single crown, bridge, or complete denture. Placing the implant into your jawbone will provide the jaw with stimulation. Otherwise, you could experience bone loss, causing your cheeks to cave inward.

Bone loss can lead to wrinkles and affect your oral health. Teeth surrounding the gap left by a lost tooth will shift. Your teeth can become crooked, leading to additional complications.

The Process

During your consultation appointment, your dentist will complete a thorough assessment. This can include:

  • Reviewing your medical history
  • X-rays
  • Creating models of your teeth
  • An examination of your jawbone

Your dentist will determine the position and number of implants you need. If they determine you’re an ideal candidate for treatment, you can schedule your surgery.

The dental implant surgical process is broken into stages. First, your dentist will remove the damaged tooth or any remaining remnants. If you lack sufficient bone to secure the implant, you’ll need to schedule a bone grafting procedure.

Once the site heals, your dentist will surgically place the implant. They’ll give the implant time to integrate with your jawbone. This process, called osseointegration, can take several months.

After osseointegration, your dentist will place the abutment atop the implant. The abutment will hold the final crown or restoration. The crown will look and function like a natural tooth.

This entire process can take eight to 12 months depending on your needs. Your dentist can give you a more accurate timeline. 

The Benefits

Dental implants have a success rate of up to 95%. The benefits of dental implants include:

  • Improved oral health
  • Durability
  • Convenience
  • Fewer speech issues
  • Natural-looking smiles
  • Improved comfort
  • Easier chewing/eating
  • Improved self-esteem

The implant can stabilize teeth, improving your appearance and oral hygiene. Your implant will require minimal maintenance and can last for years. 

Removable Partial Dentures

A removable partial denture can replace one or more missing teeth. However, these teeth must exist in the same arch.

Most partials involve an acrylic base. Your dentist may enforce it with a metal substructure. Some dentures involve a clasp that fits around your existing teeth.

The clasp will secure your denture in place. You’ll have an easier time talking, eating, and laughing without interruption. 

The Process

Your dentist will first treat your anchored teeth for gum disease or cavities if necessary. They’ll create impressions of your teeth and gums. This allows them to fabricate your partial denture to fit your unique bite.

The Benefits

This treatment option is less expensive than fixed bridgework or dental implants. It’s a cost-effective option for eliminating gaps due to missing teeth.

Your dentures can restore your ability to smile, talk, and eat. As with all tooth replacement options, you’ll feel more confident after restoring your smile. 

Removable Complete Dentures

Removable complete dentures replace an entire arch of missing teeth. This is a non-invasive approach to tooth replacement.

The dentures feature false teeth attached to an acrylic base. The base will rest over your gums and jawbone. 

The Process

Your dentist will create impressions of your bony ridges and gums. They’ll use a bite record to determine the space between your upper and lower teeth. 

They’ll create mounted anatomic models and form mock-ups of your dentures. Your dentist will make refinements, allowing you to see what the final denture will look like. They may alter the tooth shape, color, and fit to achieve your desired look.

Once you approve your dentures, your dentist will have them fabricated. They can make final adjustments to improve the fit.

The Benefits

You can choose different shapes, sizes, and colors to ensure your denture teeth look natural. Your dentist can adjust them to compensate for changes in your gum tissue over time.

All-on-Four Implant-Supported Dentures

With this option, your dentist will secure a complete denture using four dental implants. This procedure is ideal for patients who have lost a few teeth. Your dentist may recommend it if bone loss prevents you from receiving multiple individual implants.

The Process

Your dentist will first place two implants near the front portion of the arch to replace your canine teeth. They’ll place an additional implant further back, on each side. The angle ensures maximum bone support.

The procedure will complete the arch of 12 to 14 teeth, secured by four dental implants. Your dentist may create a temporary denture before your implant surgery. 

After six to eight months, your dentist can fabricate your final restoration. They may use a screw-retained denture, permanent bridgework, or a complete denture.

The Benefits

The all-on-four technique requires fewer implants per arch while ensuring you have the support you need. It’s more affordable than other options that require dental implants.

These restorations are more stable. They’re more comfortable than traditional complete dentures.

Discuss Your Tooth Replacement Options

A missing tooth can affect your self-confidence, chewing patterns, and appearance. Don’t let your oral health deteriorate. Instead, talk to your Forest Park dentist about these tooth replacement options.

They’ll help you choose an option that suits your needs. With treatment, you can show off your stunning restored smile with the utmost confidence. 

Forest Park Dental is dedicated to helping patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health. We offer the latest cosmetic and restorative procedures to ensure happy, healthy smiles.

Want to review your treatment options with your Forest Park dentist? Contact us today to schedule your consultation appointment!

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