If you've been putting off replacing your missing tooth, our team at Modern American Dentistry strongly suggests that you speak with a dental professional at our offices to learn more about your tooth replacement options in the Woodland Hills and Manhattan Beach areas.
There are only three ways to replace missing teeth. Your fixed options (is not removed by you daily) are implants and bridges and your removable options are partials and dentures.
There are pros and cons to each tooth replacement option:
- Bridges are traditionally covered by most insurance companies.
- They can typically be made in about two weeks.
- At the day of the initial appointment, you walk out of our office with a temporary that replaces the missing tooth. There is no waiting.
- The adjacent (abutment) teeth have to be shaved down so that crowns can be placed on them to hold the fake tooth (pontic).
- Since the whole thing is one piece, flossing is a bit more difficult. You have to use something called a floss threader to pull the floss under the fake tooth (pontic) and the surrounding area.
- A bridge typically needs to be replaced every 10 to 15 years due to cavities under the bridge.
Dentures and Partials
- Dentures and partials are the most economical options for tooth replacement.
- Your investment is the same regardless of how many teeth are replaced.
- When there are so many broken down teeth that it is difficult to eat and you stopped smiling a long time ago, this is the fastest way to instantly restore a smile.
- Chewing efficiency is significantly reduced with anything removable.
- Wearing dentures is like wearing flip-flops. You curl your toes to keep them on. Keeping lower dentures in places requires acrobatics from the muscles in your mouth.
- In contrast to the bridge option, the adjacent (abutment) teeth do not need to be touched. The single missing tooth can be replaced without touching any other teeth.
- Implants do not decay. Since there is no natural tooth structure the crown never needs to be replaced due to a cavity.
- Implants help preserve bone. After a tooth is pulled the bone disappears where the tooth used to be. Replacing the root with an implant helps preserve the bone
- Implants are initially more costly than other tooth replacement options.
- Unlike bridges and partials, the amount of bone present can affect our ability to be able to place an implant.
- There is a healing period (called osseointegration) where you have to be without a tooth while the body is working on healing around the implant.