What is the Best Option to Replace Missing Teeth?

woman considering dental work

Losing a tooth is never fun — no matter what age you are. Fortunately, you have a number of options to replace teeth. Your best option to replace teeth depends on your budget and care needs. What you should absolutely not do is just ignore it. Missing teeth that aren’t replaced can lead to jaw displacement, as well as cause your remaining teeth to become crooked.

So what’s your best option to replace missing teeth? Let’s look at a few of the most common solutions.

Dental Implants

This is probably your best option for tooth replacement because a dental implant looks and functions so similarly to a natural tooth. It’s a permanent solution that you never have to remove to clean, and if done right and taken care of, will last you a lifetime. We essentially replace your tooth’s root with metal screws that are surgically attached to your jawbone. The screws attach to a false tooth. Over a few months, the implant fuses to your jawbone to function naturally.

Dental Implant Supported Bridge

If you are missing multiple teeth in a row, an implant supported bridge is probably your best option for replacing missing teeth. Since replacing each tooth with a dental implant can be highly expensive, we instead create a dental bridge of several teeth that are then secured to your jawbone with two dental implants, one on either side. An implant supported bridge functions like a dental implant. It’s important to keep in mind that this is not a permanent solution and will have to eventually be replaced.

A Tooth Supported Bridge

A tooth supported bridge uses existing teeth to support the bridge, rather than two dental implants. It’s a more affordable approach than a dental implant supported bridge. A crown is cemented in place on teeth that surround the missing teeth. It has the same look, function and feel as a traditional dental implant but there is no surgery required. It’s also not permanent, as the bridge will have to be replaced.

Removable Partial Dentures

Probably the most affordable option for replacing a set of missing teeth is removable partial dentures. These are similar to permanent dentures, but only replace a set of missing teeth rather than all of your teeth. They’ll need to be clasped into place, removed at night, and properly cleaned.

All in 4 Implant Supported Dentures

For dentures to be supported by implants, you’ll usually need 4 implants on the lower denture — though the upper denture may require as many as 6 implants. This is a more stable and stronger approach than traditional dentures. People with implant supported dentures can generally enjoy a wider range of food choices. Because they can be constructed without a palate, this approach to dentures is less bulky than traditional dentures. And though the dentures are supported with dental implants, they can still be removed for cleaning. But you still enjoy the ability to have fixed teeth.

An implant supported denture is well suited to patients who have suffered jaw bone deterioration. This is because the implants are inserted into the front of the jaw where the bone tends to be stronger and can readily support dental implants.

A Resin Bonded Bridge

Also called a Maryland bridge or a Rochette bridge, a resin bonded bridge is only used to replace the front teeth. Since these teeth are only used for biting and not for chewing, they are relatively fragile. This type of bridge would not support the chewing force of the back teeth. A resin bonded bridge consists of two wings that are attached to the abutment teeth on the tooth surfaces nearest to the tongue, and the wings are attached to the replacement tooth or pontic.