Missing A Tooth, What Are My Options?

Did you know that nearly 178 million US adults are missing at least one tooth?  There are many options for replacement, it’s important to know all of your options so you can make the most well informed decision. 

  • Single Tooth Implant

If you are missing a single tooth, then a single tooth implant to replace it may be your best option. Dr. Crane would verify that there is enough bone remaining to place an implant in this area. An implant acts like the root of a tooth and a crown is then placed on top of it. The benefits of an implant are that they look and function like a normal tooth. Unlike a natural tooth, an implant is not susceptible to tooth decay, although it can fail due to periodontal disease. If you are a candidate for an implant, they are easily one of the best choices.

A single tooth implant, with a final crown looks very similar to a natural tooth above the gumline.
  • Bridge

If you are missing one or two teeth, a bridge may be a great option for you. A bridge would be very advantageous if you don’t have enough bone remaining for implants OR if teeth adjacent to those missing are in need of repair as well. The bridge not only replaces a missing tooth/teeth but provides crown coverage to those teeth nearby creating a three or four unit permanent prosthesis. One big downside to a bridge is that because all of the teeth become connected by the bridge unit, if one tooth suffers from decay then the whole bridge must be removed and replaced. 

  • Partial Denture

If you are missing multiple teeth and a bridge is not a feasible option, a removable partial denture may better suit you. Many people seem to adjust to removing a partial denture. A benefit is that it can replace teeth without joining teeth together. A partial denture does rely on the support of remaining teeth so they will need to be healthy in order to support it. 

A single tooth implant, with a final crown looks very similar to a natural tooth above the gumline.
  • Full Arch Denture

If you are missing multiple teeth and/or have severe bone loss, a full denture may be the best option. Although a denture requires bone for support, it may not require as much as implants. Most people find success with a full upper denture, but a full lower denture can take a bit more time to get used to. A lower denture doesn’t have the benefit of the suction mechanism that the upper denture does. 

  • Fixed or Removable Implant Supported Denture 

Like the full arch denture, if you are missing many or all of your teeth the implant supported denture may be a good option. This involves typically placing several implants per arch that the denture connects to. This helps provide support so the denture doesn’t move around. Having this security often provides improved self esteem for anyone missing teeth. It can also make eating and speaking easier. An implant supported denture can be either fixed or removable. If you choose a fixed denture, Dr. Crane will remove it for periodic cleaning. If it is removable, you will be able to remove and replace it daily yourself. 

Dr. Crane will be able to provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision for your oral health. Whatever your tooth replacement needs are there are many options to choose from. If you have questions regarding any of your options please do not hesitate to ask! 

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