options for missing teeth 1
Health Tips

Flash A Winning Smile: 5 Best Options for Missing Teeth

Around 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists.

And about 40 million adults in the U.S. live with all their natural teeth intact. That’s a whole lot of grins missing some pearly whites!

There are several reasons teeth may fall out or need to be removed. These include decay, injury, gum disease, and wear and tear.

Whatever the reason, there are options available to help you restore your smile. From dental implants to resin-bonded bridgework, here are some of the best options for missing teeth, in no particular order:

1. Dentures or false teeth

A classic in the world of tooth replacement, dentures have been around for centuries. Today’s options are more comfortable and realistic-looking than ever. They’re also more affordable than some other options.

Dentures are removable appliances that replace missing teeth. They’re usually made of acrylic or porcelain and can be fitted to your gums. There are two types of dentures: complete and partial.

Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Of course, you’ll need to have a consultation with your dentist or prosthodontist to see if dentures are the right option for you.

Advantages of Dentures:

  • They’re more affordable than some options
    They can be made to look very realistic
  • Disadvantages of Dentures:

  • They’re not as strong as natural teeth, so you must be careful with what you eat.
    They can slip or move around in your mouth, which can be uncomfortable or embarrassing.
    They can look artificial.
  • Who are dentures best for?

    Dentures are a good option for people who have lost all or most of their natural teeth. They’re also an option for people who can’t have dental implants for medical reasons.

    2. Dental implants

    options for missing teeth

    Dental implants are perhaps the most popular option for missing teeth nowadays. They’re made of titanium, a metal compatible with human bone. A dentist or oral surgeon inserts them into your jawbone to act as a replacement for your natural tooth roots.

    There are also full-arch dental implants, which support an entire set of upper or lower dentures. This option is known as all-on-four dental implants or teeth in a day.

    There are typically two types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are inserted into the jawbone, while subperiosteal implants are placed on top of the jawbone.

    Once in place, dental implants fuse with your jawbone to provide a strong and stable foundation for replacement teeth. They can support dental bridges, dentures, or individual dental crowns.

    Advantages of Dental Implants:

  • They’re strong and durable, so you can eat whatever you want.
    They look and feel like natural teeth.
    They don’t require special care; you brush and floss them like your regular teeth.
  • Disadvantages of Dental Implants:

  • They’re an expensive option.
    The surgery to place them can be invasive.
    You may need a bone graft if you don’t have enough jawbone to support the implant.
  • Who are Dental Implants best for?

    Dental implants are best for people with a budget and enough bone to support the implant and who are willing to undergo surgery. They’re also good for people who want their replacement teeth to look and feel like natural teeth.

    3. Fixed bridge

    If you’ve never heard of a dental bridge, you’re not alone. This option is not as popular as it once was, but it’s still a good option for some people.

    A fixed bridge is a dental appliance that’s used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of two dental crowns that are placed on the teeth next to the empty space, with a false tooth (or pontic) in between.

    The dental crowns act as anchors to hold the bridge in place. The false tooth is made to match your natural teeth in color and shape.

    A fixed bridge can be made from various materials, including gold, porcelain, or a combination of both. In fact, porcelain bridges are the most popular type nowadays.

    Advantages of a Fixed Bridge:

  • They’re less expensive than some options, such as dental implants.
    They can be made to match the color of your natural teeth.
    The surgery to place them is less invasive than dental implants.
  • Disadvantages of a Fixed Bridge:

  • The dental crowns that support the bridge can damage the adjacent teeth.
    The false tooth (pontic) can eventually come loose.
    You may need to have healthy teeth next to the space trimmed down to accommodate the bridge.
  • Who are Fixed Bridges best for?

    Fixed bridges are best for people who have healthy teeth next to the space and who want a less expensive option. Typically, people who choose this option are not candidates for dental implants.

    4. Removable partial denture

    A removable partial denture (RPD) is another option for those who are missing some teeth but not all of them. As the name implies, the patient can remove and insert this appliance.

    An RPD consists of a metal or acrylic framework with false teeth attached to it. The false teeth are usually made of plastic or porcelain. The RPD is then held in place by clasps that attach to the natural teeth next to the empty space.

    Advantages of a Removable Partial Denture:

  • They’re less expensive than some options, such as dental implants.
    They can be made to match the color of your natural teeth.
    The surgery to place them is less invasive than dental implants.
  • Disadvantages of a Removable Partial Denture:

  • The clasps that hold the denture in place can damage the adjacent teeth.
    The false teeth (pontic) can come loose.
    You may need to have healthy teeth next to the space trimmed down to accommodate the denture.
    They are not as stable or secure as some other options.
  • Who are Removable Partial Dentures best for?

    Dentists typically recommend removable partial dentures for people who miss some teeth but not all. They’re also a good option for people who have healthy teeth next to the space and who want an affordable option.

    5. Resin-bonded bridgework

    Resin-bonded bridgework (RBB) is a newer option for missing teeth. This type of bridge is made of metal or porcelain and is held in place by metal wings bonded to the adjacent teeth.

    You can think of it as a mini version of a fixed bridge. But instead of dental crowns being placed on the adjacent teeth, metal wings are bonded to them. Normally, this type of bridge is used to replace one or two missing teeth in a row.

    Advantages of Resin-bonded Bridgework over other options:

  • Resin-bonded bridgework is less expensive than dental implants and fixed bridges.
    The surgery to place resin-bonded bridgework is less invasive than dental implants.
  • Disadvantages of Resin-bonded Bridgework over other options:

  • The false teeth (pontics) can eventually come loose.
    They don’t last as long as dental implants.
    They’re not as strong or stable as dental implants.
  • Who are Resin-bonded Bridgework best for?

    Because they’re less expensive and the surgery to place them is less invasive, resin-bonded bridgework is a good option for people who only want to replace one or two missing teeth. They’re also a good option for people who are not candidates for dental implants.

    Conclusion

    With all the available options for missing teeth, it’s important to consult with your dentist to find the best option for you. Consider factors such as cost, invasiveness of surgery, and how long the treatment will last when making your decision.

    And remember, dental implants are the best option for people who want a long-lasting solution that is strong and stable.

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    Janice Scott
    I’m Janice Scott, a former elementary teacher turned blogger and self-proclaimed food lover. The strong woman behind Health Home Remedy who loves to give her dogs, Sambo and Edgar, all the good doggo belly rubs in the world!

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