Do you have a tooth extraction scheduled in the future? Are you wondering what to do about the gap in your pearly whites?
You may not realize it, but there are a number of tooth replacement options available to those who have extractions. The right option for you will depend upon your time, your budget, and the kind of comfort you are looking for.
Let’s explore your choices.
1. Dental Implants
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that provide a permanent base for fixed, replacement teeth. They are a popular long-term solution for people who suffer from missing teeth or chronic dental problems.
Doctors use an implant screw that serves as the root for your new tooth and permanently attaches to your jaw. An abutment is a permanent connector that supports and holds the new set of teeth. It is removable by your doctor.
Finally, there is a crown or a prosthetic tooth. This is usually made from zirconium or porcelain, which ensures durability and good looks.
Dental implants can replace a single tooth, or they may replace multiple teeth. You can even get a full arch of teeth if you are missing them.
Dental implants are natural-looking and require little maintenance. They are strong and stable, keeping your smile white and confident.
Implants protect your jawbone, so there is little risk for deterioration. They stand on their own without putting a strain on your other teeth when you chew.
Dental implants do, however, come with a few drawbacks that make some folks look for other options. They cannot get completed in a single office visit because it takes time for bones to heal. The entire procedure could take around three months.
Dental implants can also be expensive. The total cost of your operation will depend upon the type of implant and the condition of your tooth tissue. Insurance coverage will vary.
In addition, implant surgery carries the normal risks of any kind of operation. These include infection, nerve damage, and fractures.
2. Fixed Bridges
Fixed bridges are viable options after extraction. They are used to cover the gap between missing teeth.
Fixing a bridge usually takes more than one dental visit. On the first visit, your dentist will prepare your tooth on both sides of the gap.
Your dentist will then make an impression of your teeth that get sent to a laboratory. Here, technicians will make your bridge. You will be given a temporary bridge in the meantime.
When the permanent bridge is ready, your dentist will adjust and cement it into your prepared teeth. It cannot get removed from your mouth without a dentist’s help.
Unlike dental implants, bridges do not require surgery, making the process less painful. They are also much quicker to get than implants. Dental bridges are more affordable but still strong and supportive for your mouth.
Some patients, however, find bridges less aesthetically pleasing than implants. They also require replacement every five to seven years. Bridges also require a lot of preparation that could potentially damage tooth structure.
Some people choose to replace missing teeth with dentures. These are replacements for your missing teeth that can get taken out and put back in your mouth.
The base of an upper denture covers the roof of your mouth, while that of the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to fit over your tongue.
The creation of temporary dentures may require four to five visits prior to tooth extraction. They may require frequent adjustments before you get a good fit.
Dentures may feel a little loose at first, and a permanent adhesive can help them fit more naturally while they get adjusted.
Unlike bridges, dentures are removable. If there is a chance that you will lose more teeth in the future, your dentist may recommend dentures. They may also be preferred if you have more than one tooth in a row missing.
Dentures tend to be more cost-effective than bridges. They can also get removed for easy cleaning.
Partial dentures, however, will only last around five years, and you will need to continue replacing them.
Dentures can also be less comfortable in the long-run than other tooth replacement options. Some patients also find it embarrassing to remove them when they are sleeping or eating.
A flipper is a removable partial denture that dentists may use as a temporary replacement if you have more than one tooth missing.
Dental flippers are made from a dental acrylic that resembles your gum and supports your replacement tooth.
Depending on how many teeth you are missing, a dental flipper may have clasps like a retainer to hold it in place around your existing teeth.
Dental flippers can get made before your tooth is even removed. They keep your gap in place, which prevents other teeth from shifting. Flippers are quite inexpensive, convenient, and comfortable.
Dental flippers, however, get made of a lightweight material that could break easily. They can also increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay if you do not care for them properly.
The grip on dental flippers can easily loosen. They are best when used as a temporary solution.
Tooth Replacement Options
You may not have realized that there are a number of tooth replacement options after your tooth is extracted. There are options to fit every mouth and budget, so talk to your dentist before making your decision.
For more information on dental fixtures, read our blog today.