Best Missing Teeth Replacement Options

If you have missing teeth and are exploring your options to replace them, you’ve likely been offered choices in two basic categories, options that rest on the gum line, like traditional bridges and dentures, or solutions anchored with dental implants. While both approaches can offer an improved smile and provide better oral function in individuals with missing teeth, implant-based dental reconstruction, for the majority of patients, offers much more satisfactory results.

About Those Old-School Dental Appliances

Fixed dental bridges and dentures have helped generations of individuals who experienced tooth loss to restore their appearance and improve oral function, mitigating the difficulties with chewing and speech that become an issue with missing teeth. However, they have never been an ideal solution, each of these options having some distinct shortcomings in terms of oral health, comfort, longevity and aesthetics.

Dental bridges and partial dentures come with the risk of causing damage to surrounding teeth since they rely upon natural teeth for support. Fixed bridges generally are attached to teeth at each side of the gap to be filled by means of crowns, a technique that makes the alteration of those natural teeth necessary.

Partial dentures use metal clasps at each end of the appliance to attach them to natural teeth, which can cause damage, discoloration or decay in those teeth over time. Both can weaken the structure of perfectly healthy teeth, increasing the risk of future decay and dental work, and undermine the support of these appliances, making replacement necessary.

Removable dentures typically become loose over time, causing them to slip or make embarrassing clicking noises as wearers speak or eat. Mouth pain, irritation or sores often become a problem, and removable dentures reduce both bite force and chewing efficiency, making many foods difficult to manage.

None of these options offers any protection against loss of bone in the jaw, since they replace only the visible portion of missing teeth, leaving the jawbone without tooth roots to stimulate bone repair. Lost bone in the jaw means less support for facial features, leading to premature wrinkling, sagging or hollows in the face.

Dental Implant Restoration: Today’s Best Solution for Missing Teeth

Dental implants restoration provides a result much more similar to natural teeth, replacing both roots and crowns of missing teeth, a structure that better preserves the size, strength and density of the jawbone. Firmly anchored by their artificial tooth roots, they will not cause damage to adjacent natural teeth, since they do not depend upon them for support. Unlike those other options that need replacement or refitting every five to seven years, dental implants have an average lifespan of 25 years. In fact, with careful oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings and checkups, dental implants often last a lifetime.

Dental implant restoration can replace missing teeth with individual implants and crowns or for a larger span, an implant-supported bridge can be used. For patients with total tooth loss, an implant-secured full arch of replacement teeth can be placed in the upper and/or lower jaw – a restoration commonly called permanent dentures. With advanced procedures like All-on-4® technique, immediate load implants allow replacement teeth to be placed the same day as implants, drastically reducing the length of the dental implant process. Permanent dentures secured by dental implants look, feel and function like natural teeth, so you’ll have no trouble eating whatever you’d like, and there will be none slipping or embarrassing denture noises.