Living with missing teeth can lower your quality of life and negatively impact your oral health. Fortunately, there are many tooth replacement options available today to solve that problem. But how do you tell which is right for you? Here’s what you need to know about different tooth replacement options and how you can tell which is suitable for your needs.

Understanding your tooth replacement needs.

There are many different types of restorative dentistry treatments. Finding the right one for your case requires a careful understanding of your unique needs. Of course, when you visit your dentist to find out more about your options, they’ll go over all of these criteria in detail. However, you can take a look at general guidelines based on these factors.

The number and placement of missing teeth is one of the most important elements to consider. The treatment for replacing a single tooth and replacing an entire smile will differ drastically. Even when you’re replacing one or several teeth, their placement relative to each other and to the remaining natural teeth can affect your treatment plan.

You also want to make sure that the treatment you choose meets your needs in terms of form and function. Finding a replacement with the right aesthetics and one that can help you eat and speak naturally is vital. Your current oral health also has an impact on your available options and can affect whether you’re a candidate for certain procedures.

Dental Implants: The gold standard for tooth replacement.

Today, dental implants are widely considered to be the gold standard for tooth replacement. They are a highly effective and versatile solution for strong, durable, and long-lasting replacement teeth.

Dental implants rely on titanium posts embedded in the jawbone to provide support for restorations, such as dental crowns and implant-supported dentures. The strong foundation helps them stand up to the everyday challenges of biting and chewing, as well as allow for natural speech.

Implants are placed through implant placement surgery. They must then heal for approximately four months while osseointegration occurs—the integration of the implant within the jawbone. At that point, the final restoration is attached, and you enjoy an immaculate smile.

Bridges: Bridging the gap for a seamless smile.

Dental bridges are a highly effective solution for replacing missing teeth when a dental crown isn’t an option. If a tooth is missing entirely, there is no foundation for a porcelain crown. Instead, a dental bridge replaces one or more teeth in a row and will use two natural teeth on either side of the gap as a foundation.

The two supporting teeth will undergo a dental crown procedure where a thin layer of the outer enamel is removed to prepare a base. These teeth anchor the bridge and provide the support for your new seamless smile.

This solution restores the function and aesthetics of the missing tooth. It also prevents adjacent teeth from moving out of place, which can lead to orthodontic issues. Much like porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, bridges can be made of a variety of materials to provide a beautiful appearance.

Dentures: Complete Smile Restoration

Dentures have long been the go-to solution for replacing missing teeth. They’re simple and straightforward, restoring function and boosting confidence. While other options, such as dental implants, are typically preferred in most cases, there are still many reasons why dentures might be the right choice for you.

Both full and partial dentures are available, providing solutions to replace an entire smile or just a portion. Your dentures will be custom fit to your mouth, which offers comfort and avoids excess movement. However, even well-fit dentures can deform over time and will have to be replaced to prevent slipping or other issues.

Dentures can require more maintenance than other options, as they are removable. You’ll need to remove them at night and clean them to prevent oral health concerns.

Making Informed Decisions: Factors to Consider

Many factors can affect your choice. In some cases, health issues can impact your candidacy, too. If you don’t have healthy remaining teeth, a dental bridge isn’t a viable solution. And if you’re considering dental implants, issues such as jawbone density and gum disease can affect your treatment plan.

You’ll need to carefully consider cost, oral health, personal preference, lifestyle, and other factors to make the right choice. Luckily, your dentist will be able to help you find the tooth replacement option that best suits your unique needs.

Find the right solution with your dentist in Granite City, IL.

Are you concerned about the impact missing teeth have on your health and happiness? You can find a solution that meets your unique needs by visiting the team at Metro East Dental Care. We will carefully assess your case to provide an effective tooth replacement solution that’s just right for you. Schedule a consultation today to get started.