5 Solutions for Replacing a Missing Tooth

A missing tooth is an issue that is not always taken as seriously as it should be. Missing teeth can result in injury, gum disease, genetic conditions, or severe tooth decay. Regardless of what caused the missing tooth, it can nonetheless negatively affect the alignment of your teeth and cause problems if not replaced.

A missing tooth can affect how you chew food and speak, and cause the slow shifting of your teeth, leading to health effects. However, there are reliable dental procedures available to help replace missing teeth.

1. Dental Implant

Dental implants are one of the most common methods for tooth replacement. They involve a surgical procedure during which a tooth root is replaced and fused with the jawbone.

The dental implant replaces your tooth’s root with a metal abutment, anchoring to the false tooth placed on top. This procedure is regarded as the most reliable type of root replacement, and the results resemble real teeth with a natural feeling when brushing, chewing, or smiling. Once the metal screws are placed where necessary, the implant will heal, after which a dental crown will be placed on top. 

Dental implants are durable and last longer than other types of tooth replacements.

Pros of Dental Implants

  • They provide a natural look and feel.
  • They are one of the most effective solutions for replacing missing teeth.
  • They are durable and a permanent replacement that requires no regular check-ups.
  • There is no involvement of other neighbouring teeth, making the adjacent teeth remain intact. 

Cons of Dental Implants

  • They can be an expensive tooth replacement procedure.
  • The implant is secured into the jawbone, which can heighten anxiety about going to the dentist. 

2. Implant-Supported Bridge

An Implant-Supported Bridge is ideal for replacing multiple missing teeth in a row. With an implant-supported bridge, the teeth in the middle of the two ends of the mouth are held without any screwing.

Getting an Implant-Supported Bridge starts with a consultation and examination. During the appointment, the dentist will assess your oral health and determine if the Implant-Supported Bridge is the right procedure for you. 

Pros of an Implant-Supported Bridge

  • The implant-supported bridge is cost-effective.
  • It provides a natural look.

Cons of Implant-Supported Bridge

  • An implant-supported bridge requires numerous visits to the dental specialist.
  • The procedure is not a permanent solution, and may need to be replaced.

3. Tooth-Supported Bridge

A Tooth-Supported Bridge uses your existing teeth to support the placement of the bridge instead of placing two implants into your teeth. It is a great solution when the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth already have a crown. A crown is placed on the teeth, next to the missing teeth, and cemented into place. 

Pros of Tooth-Supported Bridge

  • No surgery is required, and the process is less invasive.
  • It provides a realistic look like that of a dental implant.
  • It is a more economical option compared to dental implants.

Cons of Tooth-supported Bridge

  • Food particles can become hard to clean when they slip underneath the bridge, so you must be careful when cleaning to avoid an infection.
  • The adjoining teeth can be damaged if the bridge is poorly fitted.

4. Removable Complete Denture

Depending on the number of teeth you have, Removable Complete Dentures can require multiple trips to the dentist. While they are both aesthetic and functional, they should not be worn 24 hours a day. 

Pros of Complete Removable Denture

  • It’s the shortest treatment from start to finish.
  • It’s aesthetically pleasing.
  • It’s the least costly treatment for replacing teeth. 

Cons of Removable Complete Dentures

  • A patient’s jaw changes over time, and dentures must occasionally be realigned for stability.
  • The upper dentures can feel bulky
  • Not all mouths are the same when it comes to denture retention, thus, no matter how well the denture set is made, some patients may not feel comfortable due to the anatomy of their jaws. 

5. Removable Partial Denture

This procedure is similar to Dental Implants. As a simpler alternative to Dental Implants, Removable Partial Dentures are recommended for patients with a few missing teeth. The removable partial denture is clasped into place, ensuring that false teeth are held in their appropriate place.

Pros of Removable Partial Denture

  • It is one of the cheapest solutions for tooth replacements.
  • The application of partial dentures only requires the addition of metal clasps.
  • Partial dentures are easy to replace.

Cons of Removable Partial Dentures

  • A set of partial dentures can make you feel uncomfortable.
  • The dentures do not appear as visually natural, since metal clasps are visible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can A Single Tooth Be Replaced?

You can replace a single tooth via dental implants. With an implant-supported dental crown in place, it becomes easier to bite, chew, smile, and speak like before. In addition, this procedure will give your new tooth a natural look: you may decide to leave it and not replace it at all.

How Do You Replace a Missing Tooth Without Implants?

When missing teeth create a gap in your mouth, there are several proven ways to replace them. Firstly, find a professional dentist who will decide on the best way to restore your tooth’s appearance. Other options include:

  • A removable partial denture that can be freely inserted and removed throughout the day
  • A flipper that can be used if you do not want to wait a few weeks for a permanent tooth replacement