Ways to Replace a Missing Tooth You Should Consider

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If you’re needing to replace one or more of your teeth, you’re not alone.  Whether because of accidents, disease, or normal decay with age, a lot of people sooner or later have an empty spot in their teeth when they smile.  It’s not the end of the world, but it’s no fun having to deal with it.

The good news is you have options.  But first, there’s a lot to consider.

  • Cost:  Dental replacement treatments can be pricey.  And there’s always the issue of what, and how much, your dental insurance will cover.
  • Time:  Your busy lifestyle may limit your choice of treatment.  Some procedures take relatively little time to complete, whereas others may extend over a period of weeks.
  • Discomfort:  Some solutions involve only superficial techniques, compared to others that require actual surgery and a longer recovery time.
  • Long-Term Goals:  It’s important to ask yourself how long you want your dental replacement option to last;  some procedures are short-term and others may be good for many years.

Ways to replace a missing tooth

Having said all of that, let’s look at some of your alternatives:

Dental Implants have become much more common than they once were, thanks to advances in dental technology and skill. You can have a single tooth implant, or multiple implants, typically replacing teeth in the front of your mouth. Implantation requires a number of trips to the dentist’s office:

A screw (rod) is surgically imbedded into your jaw bone, starting a fusing process called osseointegration. After the patient has healed from this procedure, a tooth made of titanium, ceramic, or porcelain is attached to the top of the implanted rod.

The advantages of implants are that they’re long lasting (often for the patient’s lifetime), they’re a good choice when replacing just a single tooth, and they’re a good guard against bone loss in the jaws.  Their downside is the cost of the surgery, a longer healing time, and a certain amount of discomfort which can be alleviated with over-the-counter NSAIDS.

Dentures have been around for a long time and are the first choice of many patients. Once referred to as “false teeth,” dentures are useful when there are several teeth to be replaced. A plate of teeth is designed based on imprints of your mouth and then fitted onto the existing palate.   Depending on how many teeth are missing, your dentures can be full or partial.

Having dentures made is a less invasive procedure than implants and is more affordable than implants. But they may require adjustment to achieve a secure fit and to avoid discomfort.  On the downside, dentures can slip, cause gum irritation, and can affect a patient’s eating and talking.

Bridges are a convenient solution for a single missing tooth, or for several gaps concentrated in the same area. A bridge is a prosthetic piece that is attached to existing adjacent teeth, thus “bridging” the gap caused by the missing teeth. Bridges can also be connected to crowns and are usually used only to replace missing front teeth.  They are a relatively inexpensive solution, require a minimum time commitment, and are more comfortable than dentures.  On the other hand, they are a more affordable and temporary solution, but if they are not placed by a specialist doctor, they can cause discomfort.

Flippers tooth are a quick-fix for missing teeth. Designed primarily to be a temporary solution while the patient waits for implants, flippers are acrylic teeth with a base that fits on top of the jaw of surrounding teeth, much like a retainer or partial dentures. They’re probably the least expensive of all the options, are quick to make from an impression, and are light weight.  The problem with flippers—in addition to the fact that they’re a short-term fix—is that they can break if dropped, and they must be removed when sleeping and have to be kept clean.

The common denominator among all of these treatment options is that they’re safer, more effective, and less painful than traditional dental procedures.   For one thing, improved imaging technologies–such as intraoral scanners and cone beam computer tomography which help map a patient’s dental structure more precisely than ever before—make your experience in the dentist’s chair much more pleasant than it did only a few years ago.

We’re Here to Help

The qualified medical staff at The Dental District dental clinic in Tijuana can set your mind at ease if you’re considering getting dental work done.  We’re ready to help you with dental veneers in Tijuana, dental bone graft Mexico, all on 4 Mexico, extractions, fillings, root canals, braces, teeth whitening services, and lots more.

We can improve your smile, your quality of life, and the health of your teeth and gums at our New City Medical Plaza located in Tijuana.  Just minutes away from San Diego, The Dental District offers top-notch dental care at rates less than what you’d pay in the United States.  Contact us today for a free initial consultation with our friendly bi-lingual dentist in Tijuana.

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