From Tooth Loss to Tooth Replacement: 7 Options to Explore

You have replacement options for tooth loss.

What options do you have if you are missing a tooth?

Tooth loss can take an incredible toll on your quality of life. People living with missing teeth can find themselves less willing to share their smiles and may lack self-confidence in social situations. Basic functions, such as eating and speaking, can be affected as well. 

Fortunately, there are a variety of restorative dentistry treatments that can help. Here are seven popular options to explore:

1. Dental Implants

Dental implants are now among the most preferred restorative dentistry options in many cases. They provide exceptional durability in addition to a beautiful smile. 

A titanium post is embedded in the jawbone to support a dental crown, which replaces the missing tooth. This post will fuse to your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. The strong foundation makes eating and speaking naturally a breeze. 

Since dental implant placement is a type of surgery, it may not be right for individuals with various complicating factors, such as a weakened jawbone. If you’re suffering from gum disease, you’ll need to go through treatment for that before implant placement to avoid infection.

2. Dental Bridges

A dental bridge can be an excellent option to replace an individual tooth when two healthy teeth remain on either side. This restoration is similar in principle to a crown, but consists of a row of three replacement teeth. The dentist removes enamel from the supporting teeth and fixes the bridge to them, bridging the gap over the missing tooth.

There are different types of dental bridges designed to suit different situations. For example, an implant-supported bridge offers the stability of an implant with the convenience of a bridge.

3. Dentures

Dentures have been the go-to tooth replacement option throughout history. They can provide a full smile for individuals with most or all of their teeth missing. Dentures provide a significant improvement in quality of life, boosting confidence, and enhancing eating and speaking ability.

Dentures are also affordable, non-invasive, and fast. You can get fitted for a new set of dentures very quickly. However, as removable replacements, they also have additional maintenance requirements and must be replaced after some time, and some patients consider them to be uncomfortable.

4. Implant-supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures rely on dental implants to provide a foundation for a full set of replacement teeth. The increased stability eliminates concerns about slipping and rubbing caused by movement. Patients can avoid the embarrassment that comes with dentures shifting at an inopportune moment and the soreness from frequent rubbing.

Using dental implants as a foundation also significantly improves bite strength, as the dentures have a strong foundation instead of simply resting on the gums. This option does require implant placement surgery, but less than you might think. Each row of teeth is supported by just a few implants—typically four or six.

5. Removable Partial Dentures

Dentures aren’t just a solution for people missing all of their teeth. They can also provide tooth replacement for those missing one or several teeth, using partial dentures. These are similar in materials and design to full dentures, but they include supportive clasps that let them rely on adjacent teeth for support.

Removable partial dentures are a straightforward solution to replace one or more teeth. They’re easily removable for cleaning and maintenance and have decent stability. You will encounter similar maintenance needs to full dentures.

6. Resin-bonded Bridges

Most dental bridges rely on crowns over adjacent teeth for support. However, this isn’t always the best option for the front teeth, as they are thinner and less suitable for dental crowns. Resin-bonded bridges, also called Maryland bridges, provide an alternative option to replace front teeth.

The replacement tooth has an attached framework that is bonded to the backsides of the adjacent teeth. This lets the bridge rely on support from those teeth without actually having to crown them. These surrounding teeth will need to be healthy enough to support the bridge.

7. Temporary Tooth Replacement

No matter which option you choose for tooth replacement, you may need to wait for your final custom replacement to be ready. Luckily, there are options like dental flippers or temporary dentures to provide a passable smile in the meantime.

These options are quick and easy to prepare, but aren’t fully customized and don’t offer the same level of durability as more permanent options. They’re only meant to be worn for a short period to maintain aesthetics.

Find out which tooth replacement option is right for you.

Each of these tooth replacement options has something to offer in specific situations. Exploring these options can help you take a proactive approach to restoring your oral health and function. Whether you choose an implant or a bridge, you can enjoy a smile you love to share again.

To find out which tooth replacement option is right for you, speak with your dentist in Omaha. You can visit The Tooth Doc for a wide range of advanced restorative dentistry treatments tailored to your unique needs. Schedule a consultation today to get started.