THE PROBLEM OF TOOTH LOSS
With the loss of a tooth, the remaining teeth will eventually tip or drift into the direction of the lost tooth. The bone that supported the missing tooth will tend to shrink, losing both height and width. Also, with an open space above or below a tooth, that remaining tooth could shift or move because it has nothing to bite on. Waiting too long, or procrastinating, could make it more difficult to replace or treat the area with the missing tooth. However, today, a person can be encouraged with the many different options to replace missing teeth for anyone at any age.
Be sure to check with your dentist for the most desirable option to replace your missing tooth or teeth. Both your age and the length of time that you have been without a tooth or teeth will be taken into consideration. Most likely x-rays of your jaw and the bone structure will be taken to study the area where you will have the work done.
WHAT SOLUTIONS ARE AVAILABE FOR MISSING TEETH?
2. Removable Bridge - A removable dental bridge is made of natural tooth-colored artificial teeth with a metal clasp to fit around each neighboring tooth. This procedure is usually done to replace one or two missing teeth. Care must be taken to be sure that the clasps do not damage the two supporting teeth. The bridge can be taken out of your mouth every day for cleaning. A removable bridge is an economical option, but not necessarily the most desirable or permanent option.
3. Fixed Bridge - This bridge is usually made of porcelain or composite material and is connected permanently to natural teeth on each side. It is not removable and is very sturdy. The two healthy adjacent teeth are capped to hold the bridge in place. A tooth supported bridge is most often used for a single tooth, and it may not last as long as an implant supported bridge.
4. Resin Bonded Bridge - This bridge is sometimes referred to as the Maryland Bridge. It is considered better than a removable denture, but doesn’t last as long as a dental implant. It has a wire or metal wing on each side that permanently clasps the healthy teeth.
5. Cantilever Bridge - When the last molar or tooth is removed from either the upper or lower teeth, and there is no supporting tooth on one side, a Cantilever Bridge can sometimes be added. However, this is not very common anymore, and is not really recommended.
6. Dental Crown - A single unit crown or dental cap is a solid replacement for a damaged tooth. The dentist will take an impression of your natural tooth so that the crown will fit comfortably over the tooth. There are a variety of crowns that are made with different types of materials, and your dentist will give you his best advice.
7. Removable Complete Dentures - For people who have lost all teeth, whether upper or lower or both, the most common solution has been removable dentures. They grip the gums or sit on top of the gums and can often be uncomfortable. They often cause sore gums and can shift or click when one speaks, and can even affect the full flavor of food. They are more economical and can be removed each evening for cleaning. For long term satisfaction, discuss this option with your dentist.
8. Removable Partial Denture - Grinding down adjacent teeth is not required for a removable partial denture because wire clips grip the neighboring teeth. It can be made of plastic or a mixture of metal and plastic. This denture is not as comfortable or stable as dental implants. However, it can be removed and cleaned whenever necessary. Over time, a removable partial denture could break or crack.
9. Mini Implant - Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. Mini implants are about half the size of the traditional implant and, therefore, about half the cost. They are made out of titanium and preserve the natural bone structure in your jaw. A mini implant is about half the size of the traditional implant and, therefore, involves about half the healing time and discomfort of the regular implant.
10. Dental Implants - A dental implant can be done for one tooth or for multiple teeth. Your dentist will check the bone density in your jaw to be sure that the screw will hold. The implant will never decay and will only come loose if it fails to fuse to the bone properly, and an implant will prevent bone loss. An implant looks like, and is just as strong as, a natural tooth. A natural tooth has a root and a crown. The implant has a screw or cylinder (usually made of titanium) that is placed in your jawbone and an artificial tooth is placed on the implant. This gives the feel and the appearance of a natural tooth.
HOW CAN I KNOW WHICH MISSING TOOTH REPLACEMENT SOLUTION IS BEST FOR ME?
Watch the dentist in the following video for his recommendations on the best missing tooth solutions...
HOW CAN YOU LOWER THE DENTAL COST FOR REPLACING MISSING TEETH?
People choose AmeriPlan Dental for several reasons, beyond what they save on missing teeth:
- Cosmetic dentistry such as bleaching, bonding and implants are included.
- Orthodontics (dental braces) included for both children and adults.
- All ongoing dental / medical problems are accepted (except orthodontic treatment already in progress)
- No waiting period. You can go to the dentist immediately.
- All Specialists included - Oral Surgeons, Orthodontists, Endodontists, Periodontists and Prosthodontists.
- Members may change dentists at any time without having to notify anyone.
- No annual limitations
- No paperwork
- Instant savings
Keep in mind that traditional dental insurance usually only permits about $1,000 per year in coverage so an abscessed tooth will usually take the average person beyond this annual limit. In light of this, most people seeking assistance for the cost of replacing a missing tooth are thankful to learn about a discount plan or supplement to their employer paid dental insurance.