When you meet someone for the first time, one of the first things this person will notice is your smile. A full set of teeth will enhance your smile and appearance. Unfortunately, though teeth are strong and durable, they can be damaged and fall out due to injury or decay. Replacing missing teeth can restore your smile and allow you to eat and speak normally again.
Options for missing teeth are available at Fort Lauderdale Dental Studio in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area. You should speak to our team about which options make the most sense for your budget and needs. We can provide you with a solution that you can feel good about. Call us today at (954) 519-7792 and schedule an appointment.
The good news for patients who are missing teeth is that there are effective options to correct these issues. An evaluation will factor in a person's medical history, the severity of oral health conditions, and how many teeth are missing to decide on the preferred treatment option. Options our team might recommend include:
- Dentures: These can be full or partial. Dentures are removable and made to look like natural teeth
- Implants: This process takes longer than other options, but implants are more durable. Implants work well for patients who are missing multiple teeth
- Bridges: As an article on WebMD explains, this treatment fixes artificial teeth to crowns over natural teeth. Bridges can stop surrounding teeth from shifting.
All treatment options have benefits and challenges. Therefore, it is essential for both the patient and the dentist to openly discuss what is available. Then decide on the right fit.
“An evaluation will factor in a person’s medical history, the severity of oral health conditions, and how many teeth are missing to decide on the preferred treatment option.”
Durability Comparison of Tooth Replacement Options
Durability is a critical factor when choosing a long-term treatment option. How long something will last impacts the time it takes out of your life and how much it will cost. The last thing a patient wants is to return to the office every couple of years for more dental work treating the same issues.
Implants are the most durable option. According to an article in Healthline, this is the main advantage of dental implants. These titanium false teeth can last up to 20 years with proper care and maintenance. Implants also replace a tooth's roots and can make this system as stable as natural roots.
Bridges will not last as long as implants, but this combination of artificial teeth, crowns, and natural teeth can serve a patient well for a decade or longer. It is not removable, but routine visits with your doctor will help monitor the bridge for wear.
Dentures are a moderately durable option and typically require replacement more often than implants and bridges. Patients will need to replace them every seven to eight years. However, the patient should be able to eat most foods with dentures.
“The last thing a patient wants is to return to the office every couple of years for more dental work treating the same issues.”
The Role of Age on Replacing Missing Teeth
Regardless of a person's age, it is vital to have functioning teeth. Missing teeth makes chewing more difficult, can weaken oral health, and can affect appearance. Our staff will consider a person's age when deciding what option for replacing missing teeth is right. For example, older patients may not be concerned about a solution that will last for 20 years and beyond. Older adults may prefer dentures for this reason and because it takes less work to clean.
Conversely, young patients are more active and may find themselves in more social situations. For this reason, they may prefer to choose implants. Also, younger patients are more likely to be in good overall health. Overall oral and physical health is an important criteria for being a good candidate for dental implants.
“Regardless of a person’s age, it is vital to have functioning teeth.”
Choosing the Right Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
It is beneficial to understand the different treatment options. Patients should consider the extent of their issues. For only a couple of missing teeth, a bridge or implants may make the most sense. For several missing teeth, partial dentures are a good option. Getting full dentures is a common solution to replace all missing teeth.
Patients need to budget wisely too. Implants may be the most long-lasting treatment, but it can be the most expensive as well. People who have less to spend should consider dentures or dental bridges instead. People should look at their lifestyle and determine which replacement option fits their needs and preferences.
“People should look at their lifestyle and determine which replacement option fits their needs and preferences.”
Many patients prefer this treatment because they can remove the dentures for cleaning and maintenance. Dentures do not cost as much as implants and do not require the extensive surgery that comes with implants. Dentures come in partial and full varieties. For multiple missing teeth, removable dentures make sense.
Dentures consist of a gum-colored acrylic base with artificial teeth attached. The teeth are made of metal, covered in plastic. This apparatus looks like natural teeth and allows the patient to smile without embarrassment and easily eat solid foods again. The patient needs to brush the dentures daily and rinse them after each meal. Our team can recommend whether to use a solution. If a solution is advised, the appliance should be soaked overnight.
The challenge with dentures is that this option is not as durable as some counterparts. Dentures can crack or break easily. In addition, dentures are sometimes uncomfortable for patients. According to the American Dental Association, denture adhesives are not recommended for poor fitting dentures, those should be relined or replaced. The appliance can slip while the person eats or talks. It can wear out over time as well.
“Dentures consist of a gum-colored acrylic base with artificial teeth attached. The teeth are made of metal, covered in plastic.”
Appropriately named, this multiple teeth replacement option bridges the gap in a person's mouth. According to Authority Dental, a bridge may be used as an alternative to partial dentures or implants. If a patient is missing several teeth in a row, a fixed bridge can bring relief. A bridge replaces one tooth or multiple teeth with artificial teeth by joining them to crowns on either side of the gap.
A dental bridge requires two or more visits. The initial consultation involves X-rays and impressions, as well as a dental exam. At the next appointment, the dentist will place the artificial teeth in the gap and attach them to the crowns. There may be some adjustments to ensure there is a good, comfortable fit. The bridge provides patients with a natural look.
“Appropriately named, this multiple teeth replacement option bridges the gap in a person’s mouth.”
Implants are among the most popular multiple teeth replacement options available. Getting implants is a wise move for patients looking to restore their smile without others noticing the artificial teeth. Implants closely resemble the color of the surrounding natural teeth. Implants allow the patient to once again eat just about any food. This replacement option does not need surviving roots as the implant screw will serve this purpose.
The dental team will begin by taking X-rays and molds of the person's mouth. These go to a lab where a technician custom-makes the implants. The dental professional will then numb the patient, make an incision in the gums, and insert a screw deep into the jawbone. The patient will undergo a healing process before our team can move onto the next step, which can take several months. Then, an abutment, or a post, will attach to the screw and the dentist will place the false top on the post.
Implants are made of titanium and can last for 20 years or longer. These are comfortable and can restore the person's biting function. However, the surgery can be difficult. The cost is typically higher than other options, so patients with multiple missing teeth may wish to consider alternatives.
“Implants allow the patient to once again eat just about any food. This replacement option also does not need surviving roots as the implant screw will serve this purpose.”
What to Do After Losing Teeth
Losing permanent teeth is a serious matter that patients should not ignore. If you have a medical emergency, consult our staff to discuss same-day service options. For pain, over-the-counter medications are available. If there is bleeding, keep a cloth or towel on the affected area.
Whether teeth fall out from a mishap or the dental team removes the teeth, there are many replacement options. Before choosing one, seek the advice of a dentist so you make a choice that matches your needs and lifestyle. Contact our team and we can review the pros and cons of each treatment, including levels of discomfort and maintenance requirements. The patient and the dental professional will make sure everyone feels good about the decision before proceeding.
The dentist and patient will also talk about the financial implications of the treatment. Some insurance plans will cover all or part of a teeth replacement procedure, while others may view the treatment as cosmetic. Patients can discuss payment plans and financing options with us.
“Conversely, even the most loyal brusher and top-flossing patient can lose permanent teeth.”
Questions Answered on This Page
People Also Ask
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who is a good candidate for implants?
A. One of the nice things about dental implants is that this option can work well no matter how many missing teeth a person has. It is also a good choice for patients who do not want to worry about another replacement treatment for the next 20 to 25 years.
Q. Are these options for replacing missing teeth painful?
A. Many people have anxiety about dental visits. However, getting a bridge, dentures, or implants does not involve much, if any, pain. Our dentist will give patients a local anesthetic to numb the area. Patients may feel a little soreness for a couple of days and can manage any discomfort with over-the-counter pain medication.
Q. Will insurance cover the replacement treatments?
A. Patients should check with their insurance provider before visiting our office. Some plans may cover part of the procedure, though others will consider the treatments cosmetic. If you are considering financing options, you may also speak with our staff.
Q. Are replacements essential?
A. In some cases, our dentist may be able to salvage severely decayed teeth. However, if a tooth has been completely knocked out, a replacement option may be necessary.
Q. What happens if dentures break?
A. If a patient discovers a crack or a break in the dentures, it is essential to call the dentist immediately. There are home repair kits available, but it is always more effective to contact the dentist. Our office has the right equipment and tools to help repair the apparatus properly.
Q. What can people who wear dentures eat?
A. Patients should start by eating soft foods until they are used to the dentures. From there, the wearers can gradually move onto harder foods. Our dentist can give you advice on which foods might give you trouble.
Q. Can the dentist save the teeth instead?
A. Pulling teeth is the last resort for our team. In most cases, we prefer to leave the teeth intact. However, if an infection is starting to spread throughout the mouth, extraction is the right decision.
Q. How long will dentures last?
A. Dentures are not as durable as implants or bridges. However, this apparatus can still work well for ten years or more. It is essential to maintain them and be careful not to drop them during removal.
Q. How long does the implant process take?
A. Implants come in three parts: the screw, the abutment (or post), and the crown on top. The second and third portions cannot come until after the gums and jawbone have adequately healed. Altogether, this can take up to six months or more. The time frame varies from patient to patient.
Q. Can a patient have implants and dentures as a multiple teeth replacement option?
A. Many patients do have both. The implants can help support the removable dentures. Some patients even have the dentures fixed to the implants.
Q. What happens if dentures break?
A. If a false tooth breaks off the base, there are home repair kits available. However, patients should call our dentist right away. Our staff has the right tools and equipment to handle any repairs effectively.
Q. How should patients care for dental bridges?
A. A patient with dental bridges needs to brush and floss the bridge each day. To clean teeth, before brushing, patients should use floss, threader floss, or an electric cleaner such as Oral-B® Glide Pro-Health Threader Floss, SUNSTAR's GUM® Eez-Thru® Floss Threaders, and Waterpik® Water Flosser. Also, the person should not bite down on hard objects or food.
Dental Implant Terminology
- An abutment is a component that attaches to the dental implant so a professional can place a dental crown to provide patients with an artificial, aesthetically pleasing and fully-functional smile.
- Bone Augmentation
- Bone augmentation is the process in which a medical professional rebuilds the bone to strengthen it enough for the placement of dental implants.
- Bone Density
- Bone density refers to the amount of bone mineral in bone tissue.
- Multiple replacement teeth that are fixed in place via attachment to dental implants, natural adjacent teeth, or a combination of the two.
- Dental Crown
- A crown is an artificial tooth, usually consisting of porcelain, which covers the top of the implant to provide people with an aesthetically pleasing and fully-functional tooth.
- Dental Implant
- A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.
- Endosteal (endosseous)
- Endosteal is a type of dental implant that a professional places in the alveolar and basal bone of the mandible that transcends only one cortical plate.
- Eposteal (subperiosteal)
- Eposteal is a type of dental implant that conforms to whichever edentulous surface of an alveolar bone is superior.
- Implant-Supported Bridge
- An implant-supported bridge is a dental bridge that professionals fix in place with the use of dental implants inserted in the jaw to create a sturdy set of artificial teeth.
- Oral Irrigator
- An oral irrigator is a type of water-flosser device that uses a stream of water to clean between the teeth and improve gingival health.
- Osseointegration is the process in which a titanium dental implant fuses with the surrounding bone over several months after an oral health professional places the implant in the jaw.
- Literally “around the tooth”
- Removable Complete Denture
- A removable complete denture is a complete denture that people can remove when necessary, at night, or to clean.
- Resin Bonded Bridge
- A resin bonded bridge is a dental bridge that professionals fix to the surrounding teeth with a type of resin to provide patients with a long-lasting solution.
- Resorption is the process in which the body absorbs the calcium from the jaw since there are no tooth roots to cause the necessary stimulation and proceeds to use the calcium in other areas.
- Ridge Expansion
- A ridge expansion involves widening the jaw for more dental implants when there is not enough space for the implants.
- Transosteal (transosseous)
- Transosteal is a type of dental implant that includes threaded posts which penetrate the superior and inferior cortical bone plates of the jaw.
Fill in the Gaps, Feel and Look the Way You Want
It can be difficult living with spaces in your mouth. Chewing can be a problem, but you may even feel ashamed to leave your home and talk to people in Fort Lauderdale. At Fort Lauderdale Dental Studio, we have multiple teeth replacement options to correct these troubling issues.
Regardless of how severe your challenges are, you can feel at ease knowing we have the right solution for you. Call us today at (954) 519-7792 to talk our team about repairing your smile.