Missing teeth detract from your smile’s function and appearance. Thanks to preventative care and good oral hygiene, most people today can keep their natural teeth healthy for life. Yet sometimes things happen, and we need to replace missing teeth. Fortunately, today’s dental patients have more options for restoring a missing tooth than previous generations ever had access to.
Why Replace Lost Teeth?
Tooth loss can affect you and your health in more ways than you might realize. Not only is your dental health impacted, but also your overall wellness. So whether you lost a tooth because of an accident or periodontal disease, it’s almost always best to replace it as quickly as possible. Here’s why:
Alignment of Surrounding Teeth—Teeth tilt and shift out of alignment when neighboring teeth are removed.
TMJ Disorder—Changes in your bite alter the natural motion of your jaw, leading to joint strain.
Premature Aging and Facial Profile Changes—Collapse of your facial profile and sunken-in tissues are common during tooth and bone loss.
Balanced Diet—Functional, healthy teeth allow you to maximize your nutrient intake and absorption.
Common Causes of Tooth Loss
Some of the most common reasons why people lose teeth are because of:
- Dental emergencies
- Therapeutic tooth extraction
- Gum disease (periodontitis)
- Traumatic injuries, such as a car wreck or athletic accident
- Non-restorable tooth decay
If you lose one or all your teeth, we’ll want to do everything we can to preserve your natural remaining teeth. But if those teeth are non-restorable, it may be best to remove them then plan a full arch replacement option.
Single Implant Placement with Crown
Dental implants mimic your natural tooth root. Once placed into the bone, implants are a predictable option to restore one or more teeth. For a single tooth, the surgical procedure involves an implant supported ceramic crown. An implant looks and feels like a natural tooth. It’s easy to care for (just brush and floss), and there are no dietary restrictions. Best of all, dental implants can last an entire lifetime.
Fixed Dental Bridges (Traditional)
A dental bridge is a multi-tooth restoration that’s supported by a pair of healthy teeth. Bridges are popular, traditional tooth replacement options that blend in with the shape and color of your surrounding smile.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridges
If you have several missing teeth, a traditional bridge won’t be an option. Instead of wearing a temporary partial denture, we can use a dental implant on either end of the open space to anchor an implant supported bridge. You can usually expect an implant bridge to outlast a tooth supported dental bridge, thanks to the overall life expectancy of dental implants.
Full-Arch Implants (i.e., “All-on-4”, etc.)
Hybrid implant restorations provide full arch adjoining teeth that are secure and comfortable. As few as four implants are necessary for this extended fixed bridge system. For someone with several teeth missing, complete arch implants are one of the most comfortable and efficient ways to restore their smile. Not only do they require minimal maintenance, but they also help retain facial dimensions for fuller, more youthful characteristics.
Implant Stabilized Overdentures
Implant supported dentures are a removable, stabilized “overdenture” that clips in and out of place. They are an affordable tooth replacement option that blends traditional dentures with 2-4 strategically placed implants. Overdentures are cost-savvy alternatives for our patients who need to restore their entire smile.
If you need to replace missing teeth but require a bone graft or don’t have jaw support for implants/complete dentures, our implant dentist can use advanced zygomatic implant designs that utilize other bone surrounding your smile. These extended implants allow you to attach permanent dentures or an extended implant bridge even if you aren’t a typical implant candidate.
What About Teeth in a Day?
Do you need dental extractions or suffer from full-arch tooth loss? Teeth in a day provide you with a temporary prosthesis to wear throughout the healing process (implants require several months for full bone integration) until it’s time to attach your permanent supported bridge, All-on-4, or overdenture. The same-day restoration covers the implant’s metal screws as your mouth heals. Once your gum tissue is adjusted, and the bone is stable, your permanent restoration is fixed in place.
Conventional Dentures (“Plates”)
Not everyone qualifies for implant surgery. Perhaps they are saving up for dental implants or want the most affordable tooth replacement treatment. In that case, a conventional denture is an excellent choice. Dentures rest directly on top of your natural gums. Unlike partials, there are no metal clasps. Depending on your situation, it may be possible to retrofit your denture in the future to attach to two implants for added stabilization.
A partial denture replaces several teeth when there are healthy adjacent teeth next to them. Removable partial dentures prevent the need to extract existing teeth, maximizing your overall oral health. If at any point you have additional teeth that need to be replaced, it may be possible to add a few teeth to your removable partial denture.
Which Tooth Replacement Option is Best?
Most of us qualify for more than just one tooth replacement treatment. Generally speaking, implant supported restorations tend to be the most desirable. But they’re not ideal for everyone. Whether you need to replace single or multiple teeth, our team will help you weigh the advantages of each one as it relates to your unique smile. Our restorative dentist Dr. Sheth will provide you with the same advice that we would our own family members.
How to Afford Replacing Missing Teeth
The cost of your restoration and dental visits will depend on things like how many teeth are missing, the type of restoration you choose, and any existing insurance coverage. During your visit with us, we’ll review the most appropriate plan for your smile, then tabulate what your insurance will cover. From there, we will also present varying financing options to make your smile reconstruction as accessible as possible!
Book Your Teeth Replacement Consultation Today!
Scottsdale Dental Solutions offers multiple options for replacement teeth. No matter what your smile has been through, we’re here to help make it whole again. Contact our office today to reserve an exam. We’ll discuss your treatment options to help you identify the best permanent replacement.