Gum disease, tooth decay, injuries, or genetic diseases can all be the reason behind tooth loss.

Regardless of the root cause of tooth loss, if you want to replace a missing tooth or adjust the overall appearance of your mouth, there are different treatments your Newport Beach dentist can recommend. 

The list below contains some options to replace missing teeth, along with advantages and disadvantages.

Dental implant

When you want to replace a single tooth, or if you have to miss a few teeth but they are in different parts of your mouth, your Newport Beach dentist can recommend for an implant.

The treatment requires surgically mounting a titanium post or frame into the upper or lower jaw. The replacement tooth is then mounted on the implant, keeping the tooth in place.

Dental implants provide a permanent basis for replacing teeth.

Advantages of dental implants

  • The replacement teeth are similar to natural teeth and can be used for decades.
  • It does not affect nearby teeth (just like a bridge), so the remaining teeth should remain intact.

Disadvantages of dental implants

  • An implant is a surgical procedure, so you need to be in good physical condition for surgery and rehabilitation. Also, the healing process can take several months.
  • Your dentist will not connect replacement teeth until the implant is fully healed.
  • For missing teeth, dental implants tend to be more expensive than other alternatives. 
  • The program may include some insurance, but you may be responsible for deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.

Fixed dental bridge

If you don’t want to go through dental implants, see if you are suitable for a fixed dental bridge. In case of single or more missing teeth in the same area, this tooth replacement option may be useful.

Fixed bridges primarily use dentures or artificial teeth to make up for gaps caused by missing teeth. The dentures are attached to adjacent teeth and then bonded in place using dental cement.

Advantages of Dental Bridge

  • Bridges are less painful than implant because they feel and look like natural teeth. You may find that they improve the appearance of natural teeth on either side of the space. 
  • They are also usually cheaper than dental implants.

Disadvantages of dental bridge

  • It may be not very easy to clean the teeth under the bridge. Bridges involve changing existing teeth. 
  • Similarly, over time, improperly installed bridges may gradually damage adjacent teeth.
  • Plaque and bacteria can infiltrate under the bridge, causing tooth decay or infection.

 

Removable partial denture

If all your teeth need a replacement, your dentist may recommend a full denture. However, if you only need to replace some of your teeth, you can choose a removable partial denture.

The orthodontist consists of replacement teeth attached to a natural pink base. Although the buckles of some dentures are adjacent to your natural teeth, your natural teeth are stable and hold the removable plastic base in place.

Advantages of partial dentures

  • Removable partial dentures have a natural look and feel in the mouth.
  • They are cheaper than other dentures
  • Removable partial dentures are easier to repair and replace.

Disadvantages of partial dentures

Some people may find partial dentures uncomfortable, at least until they are comfortable with wearing such dentures.

Dentures must be cleaned daily and removed before going to bed. This continuous operation may make them more vulnerable to damage.

 

What are the effects of missing teeth?

Depending on where your missing teeth are, you may not notice the gaps in your mouth. Like when you have missing teeth on the back or sides of the mouth.

Our teeth are designed to work together, by missing one or more teeth can sometimes affect our speech, eating, and cause other problems over time.

If chewing food becomes painful or uncomfortable, it may result in eating on only one side of the mouth or must be consumed at a much slower rate. 

Missing teeth can change the whole shape of your face because it can cause your mouth to shift.

Similarly, your bite may change to make up for lost teeth, and if there is extra space, the remaining teeth may move. It can cause other problems such as tooth sensitivity, difficulty in grinding, and chewing.

Whether you are missing teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease, or injury, you should consult your Newport Beach dentist for options to replace missing teeth.

The cost will depend on the replacement options, the number of teeth you need to replace, and even where you are.

Some health insurance can cover replacement costs or at least some of them. If not, some dental clinics offer payment or financing plans.

These treatments are useful, and in most cases, through regular brushing and care, dental implants, bridges, or partial dentures will last for years or even decades.