I have a missing tooth, how do I replace it?
There are a few options to replace a tooth or multiple teeth:
Flippers or Partial Dentures
The most economical option would be to make a flipper to replace a few teeth or a partial denture to replace multiple teeth and areas. Flippers are usually used as a temporary solution while patient explores other options. Flippers will help greatly with the look by filling the missing space with denture teeth so it appears as if you are not missing a tooth. However, it's not meant for heavy chewing or grinding food.
Partial dentures are designed to replace teeth more permanently with stronger retention and better fit. The denture will grab onto teeth that are next to the missing space and fill the missing space with denture teeth. Partial dentures will be great for both the look and chewing food. Flipper and partial dentures are both removable so patient must remove them at night before sleep. Please visit our partial denture page for more information about the material selection.
Bridges have often been the most optimal choice in the past prior to implants. Bridges can be a good choice if you wish to replace 1 or 2 teeth, but as the bridge gets longer, the risk for problems can increase. The main problem with bridge is the requirement to cut teeth next to the missing space down to a smaller size so we can properly insert the bridge. If teeth next to the space already need crowns or have large fillings, this may indicate the use of a bridge.
However, if the teeth next to the space are healthy teeth that never had any dental work done, bridges will not be a great choice. Bridges are also hard to keep clean because it's a connected piece so cleaning under the bridge can be challenging. Bridges are a fixed option so it will stay in the mouth without having to take it in and out. There are multiple criteria we screen for prior to suggesting a bridge and we welcome you to come in for a consultation.
Implants have become the best option to replace a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth in the recent decade due to the advancement of implant technology. While implants can become very confusing and requires multiple steps, the end result is much better than any other options available at the moment. The treatment plan for implants will involve a surgeon (oral surgeon or periodontist) that places the titanium screw into the bone and after adequate healing we, will place the abutment and implant crown onto the implant screw. For details of how the implant procedure work, please visit our implant page for more information.
Implants can easily be cleaned and do not require us to cut an adjacent tooth. Once implants are completed it will feel like your own tooth and you don't have to worry about getting more cavities on this implant tooth. The set back for patients to receive this treatment has primarily due to cost. However, with payment plans such as Care Credit and insurance companies coverage, its popularity has continued to climb in the recent years. Please contact us to set up a consultation appointment as we are more than happy to continue this discussion. Implant is a fixed option so it will stay in the mouth without the need to take it in and out.