7 OPTIONS FOR REPLACING A MISSING TOOTH (3/3)
Keywords: replace missing teeth, missing tooth solutions, best option for missing teeth, loose dentures, best replacement for missing tooth, dental implant, implant crown, implant bridge, implant denture, implant tooth, implant-supported dentures, implant-retained dentures
This is the last in a series of three articles on the options for replacing a missing tooth. Here we will go over the remaining options to best replace your missing teeth.
FLIPPER – A TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT OPTION
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A flipper is a temporary partial denture which has the ability to flip in and out of position. Its purpose is to fill in any unsightly gaps so that you can smile and talk without feeling self-conscious. A flipper tooth is only used until a more permanent replacement can be arranged, is not dependent on any surrounding teeth and does not have any metal clasps.
- Treatment is very inexpensive
- Provides a temporary tooth replacement option until a more permanent option is available
- Process requires fewer trips to your dentist compared to a more permanent partial denture
- A flipper is a much lighter option compared to a partial denture
- It is a relatively cheap and painless option to replace a missing tooth
- The flipper can be uncomfortable
- Not very strong or stable
- Generally cannot eat with the flipper in, as it is not very retentive or supportive
- Fragile and easily broken
- Can be bulky, making it uncomfortable to wear, particularly towards the end of a long day
- A flipper is built to be a temporary option, so its bulky design poses more discomfort
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A resin-bonded bridge is sometimes called a Maryland bridge or a Rochette bridge and tends to only be used to replace front teeth. This is because it is relatively fragile and is unable to withstand the chewing forces created by back teeth. It consists of two wings that are attached to the two abutment teeth on either side of the space. They are attached to the replacement tooth or pontic in between, against the tooth surfaces on the tongue side
While a fixed bridge is best for teeth that are relied upon for chewing, a resin-retained bridge can be a good alternative for missing front teeth, which typically don’t endure as much pressure. (Differences between Dental Crown and Dental Implants)
- These are cheaper and less invasive than a fixed bridge supported by your natural teeth
- Will restore your ability to smile and to eat and speak
- Provides the correct amount of support for your lips
- Prevents your remaining teeth from drifting out of place
- Quicker prep time compared to conventional bridges
- Relatively fragile which doesn’t make it a good long-term option, which is why it is only used to restore front teeth
- Hard food can cause the bridge to pop off your teeth with the need to be re-cemented
- A distant runner up to the implant option in terms of strength, comfort and longevity
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The previous options were the most popular ways to replace one or more missing teeth, but there is another option – do nothing. However, this is not an advisable choice if you can help it.
Jawbone density decreases after a natural tooth is removed due to the lack of stimulation that would normally be provided by the simple presence of a natural tooth root or implant. If you later decide to replace the tooth with an implant, you’re more likely to need a bone graft to make up for the lost bone.
Doing nothing will also allow any adjacent teeth to move out of position, potentially destabilizing them and affecting your bite. While it’s not always possible to replace missing teeth immediately after their loss (financially and/or physically), it is important to figure out a more permanent way of replacing them as soon as possible.
In our next article following this series, we will cover situations when an implant is recommended, and what to expect from the procedure. See you at the next article!
Marchwood Dental Clinic specializes in dental implants crown and aesthetic treatments, focusing on the oral and dental health of patients in Kanata, Dunrobin, Carleton Place, Almonte, Carp and all of West Ottawa. We offer many treatment options and alternatives with cutting-edge technology to guarantee the quality of our service.
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