There are various causes of tooth loss, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and trauma.  Regardless of the underlying cause, however, you will need to know about the range of options available to you for replacing missing teeth.

Aside from affecting your ability to chew, tooth loss can have additional long-term effects such as facial collapse, teeth drifting, and supra-eruption.

Facial collapse or loss of facial height can occur over several years after someone has lost almost all of their teeth and can appear like the lips look like they have shrunken into the mouth. Teeth drifting is part of the tooth’s natural tendency to move forward. As well as teeth drifting the teeth can also tilt forward into the gap. This movement may affect your bite and make it more difficult to clean your teeth. Supra-eruption occurs when the opposing tooth that now has a gap opposite it begins to extend out of the gums to occupy that space, which eventually may lead to the loss of that tooth as well.

If you have lost one or more teeth, it is always a good idea to consult with a dentist to find out if there will be any side effects or if you will be okay not taking any action.

Here are five options available for replacing missing teeth:

5 Options for Replacing Missing Teeth

Option 1: Removable Partial Dentures

A removable partial denture is appropriate for replacing a small number of lost teeth. It consists of a small section of replacement teeth that fit into the gap, improving your ability to chew while maintaining a natural look.

Advantages

  • One of the cheaper tooth replacement options.
  • Easy to repair if damaged.
  • Easy to take in and out
  • You can add additional teeth in the future if needed.
  • No surgery is required.

Disadvantages

  • Needs to be removed and cleaned daily.
  • Must be removed before sleeping.
  • They are not as stable for chewing.

Option 2: Removable Complete Dentures

Removable complete dentures are used when you have lost all the teeth in the upper or lower or both dental arches.  They are aesthetic and functional, allowing you to comfortably eat while providing an even smile without being as invasive as other teeth replacement options.

Advantages

  • Replace all missing teeth for a full, uniform smile.
  • Provide a surface for you to chew on. 
  • The process of making your dentures requires multiple visits but is virtually  painless with minimal recovery time as the dentures are made in a lab. .

Disadvantages

  • The dentist must remove any remaining natural teeth.
  • They may be more unstable  as there are no natural teeth to attach it to.
  • They can become uncomfortable if worn for long periods and can take some getting used to.

Related: When to Get Dentures

Option 3: Single Dental Implants

Dental implants are excellent for replacing a single tooth or where you have lost multiple teeth throughout your mouth. This treatment does require surgery and a necessary planning process that takes place over several appointments. The replacement tooth is attached onto a titanium implant surgically placed in your jaw, providing a sturdy and long term solution.

Advantages

  • They do not require alterations to your adjacent teeth.
  • They help maintain the bone height of your jaw from dropping after the loss of a tooth.
  • Long-term solution.
  • Natural look.
  • They do not need to be removed before sleeping.

Disadvantages

  • Dental implants are one of the more expensive tooth replacement options.
  • The process may take months as your jaw needs to heal from multiple stages of the surgery.

Option 4: An Implant-Supported Bridge

An implant-supported bridge is an effective option for replacing multiple missing teeth in a single area. It can also be cheaper than getting single dental implants for each missing tooth.. An implant-supported bridge works with just two dental implants on each end of the bridge. The bridge attaches to these implants, allowing the teeth in-between to be replaced by a span of teeth/tooth supported by the implants.

Advantages

  • It is a cheaper option for replacing multiple teeth side-by-side than individual single  dental implants.
  • Provides a complete and natural smile.
  • Allows you to chew and eat comfortably.
  • It does not require removal for cleaning or sleeping.

Disadvantages

  • They are only appropriate when multiple teeth are missing in a row.
  • Requires multiple dentist visits to plan out the bridge’s placement
  • Food can fall underneath the bridge and become difficult to clean, so you need to be more careful regarding your dental hygiene.

Option 5: A Tooth-Supported Bridge

A tooth-supported bridge works the same way as an implant-supported bridge. However, as the name implies, instead of using implants to secure it in place, the bridge is instead anchored to crowns attached to your existing teeth. It is usually only used to replace a single missing tooth and the false tooth is supported by crowns on your adjacent natural teeth.

Advantages

  • There is no surgery to the jaws required, so it is a less invasive option.
  • It provides a realistic look and feel.
  • It doesn’t require removal for cleaning or sleeping.
  • It is a cheaper option than receiving dental implants.

Disadvantages

  • The teeth anchoring the bridge need filing down for the crowns to fit on them.
  • Food can become trapped underneath the bridge, so you need to be careful to maintain good oral hygiene. .

Summary

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, you have a range of options that cover different budgets, some of which include surgery, while others are less invasive and more affordable. Your best course of action is always to consult with your dentist. That way, you have expert advice on maintaining your dental health.

If you are ready to reach out to a member of our team for more information or book an appointment, you can contact us here. If you are interested in receiving the latest dental news and tips, please follow our team here at Beaches Dental Mona Vale on Facebook and Instagram.