Missing Tooth SolutionsAre you missing any teeth? If so, you aren’t alone. Many people are missing just a single tooth, and many others are missing more than that. It’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but it is something that you’ll likely want to have taken care of sooner rather than later. Fortunately, there are several options at your disposal these days, depending on your circumstances. In this blog post, we are going to look at some of the top missing tooth solutions.

It is important to state right from the start that not all of these options will be viable for every patient. Depending on the current state of your oral health, and the specific situation surrounding your tooth loss, you may only be eligible for some of the options below. Of course, the best thing to do is to speak with your dentist about the options that you have available, and which may be the best course of action for your needs.

Let’s take a look at some of the top missing tooth solutions.

Dental Implants

This may be the first thing you think of when considering having a missing tooth replaced. The implant is placed into the jawbone, providing a durable base for something like a crown or denture. To be sure, there is a lot to like about this option. In many cases, the implant will last a lifetime, so you won’t have to worry about having it replaced or redone. As long as everything goes well with the implant process, there is unlikely to be much maintenance required along the way. Also, dental implants can look great, and offer an appearance very near to that of an actual tooth.

So, why wouldn’t all patients go in this direction? Well, there are a couple of drawbacks. First, this is typically the most expensive option. Having a dental implant put in place is a costly process from start to finish. Additionally, this is a longer process than some of the other options available, and the act of placing a dental implant is a surgical procedure which may make some patients uncomfortable or nervous.

The idea of using a dental implant is probably where your journey will start when thinking about having a tooth replaced. That doesn’t mean this will be the right option for you, but it is a good place to begin the thinking process, as there is a lot to like about going in this direction. Dr. Lance Ogata from Smile Hawaii adds a good point for patients looking for tooth replacement options, "If you have a missing or highly decayed tooth that will eventually need extraction, a dental implant is an aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional replacement methods, such as a fixed bridge or partial denture."

Dental Bridges

The name of this option tells you much of what you need to know about how it works. A dental bridge is just that – a bridge that enables you to fill the opening in your mouth with a false tooth. Some dental bridges are supported by nearby healthy teeth, while other bridges are supported by dental implants. The right bridge solution for you will obviously depend on the specifics of your case, so it will be necessary to work closely with your dentist to create a plan of action.

One of the nice things about opting for a dental bridge is that you may be able to save money as compared to a dental implant. Again here, however, we must stress the individual nature of each case. The cost of your dental bridge will vary based on a number of factors. Also, the look and feel of the finished product is very good, so you should be proud to show off your smile once the bridge is in place. Downsides to note here include the need for a surgical procedure if using an implant supported bridge, as well as the fact that your bridge will likely need to be replaced at some point.

Partial Dentures

If you are looking for an easy solution to the problem of missing teeth, a partial denture is likely where you will want to turn. As the name would indicate, partial dentures are used when a full set of dentures is not needed, yet the patient has lost a tooth or teeth and would like to have those gaps filled. For those who have avoided smiling for a long period of time because of a missing tooth, putting a partial denture in place can be a great relief.

There are a couple main advantages to choosing partial dentures over other options. The first is the cost. This is almost certainly going to be less expensive than the other options you’ll have available so that in and of itself is going to sell some patients on the idea of partial dentures. Also, for those who are afraid of dental work, this is a non-invasive process which can be completed rather quickly. You won’t have to go through the surgical procedure involved with having an implant placed, which is a big relief for some patients.

Of course, partial dentures are not a perfect solution, as there are some shortcomings to consider. One of the most notable shortcomings is the fact that partial dentures typically will not look as natural as something like a dental implant with a crown. If you are hoping for something that will look as close to natural as possible, this is not likely to be your first choice. Also, partial dentures can be unstable in your mouth, so you may not like wearing them all the time. Finally, there is the possibility of breaking your dentures or even losing them, which obviously will mean a return trip to the dentist.

As you can see, there are plenty of options on the table for dealing with the problem of a missing tooth. Sure, some of these might not be viable for you at the moment, but there is only one way to find out – see your dentist for assistance. Contact Lakeside Dental at your convenience to make an appointment and start down the road toward having your tooth or teeth replaced. Thank you for taking the time to visit, and we look forward to serving you!