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3 Options To Replace Missing Teeth

Most of us may have had lost a tooth- perhaps, one or two when we were younger.

Some may have believed the existence of a tooth fairy during their childhood who takes a loose tooth that is kept shiny and healthy in exchange for a charming gift.

As we grow older, things are perceived differently.

 Whenever we encounter something delightful, funny, or amusing, it's our smile that best projects this happiness.  But of course, a complete set of teeth makes a smile all the more beautiful.

A typical adult has 32 teeth (wisdom tooth not included) and a person may lose a tooth or a couple of them due to injuries brought by accidents, dental-related illnesses, and old age.  

3 Options To Replace Missing Teeth

Sadly, the closer the gap for a missing tooth is to the front, greater feelings of embarrassment and low self-esteem surface.

Filing these gaps will improve one’s appearance and self-confidence. This article will dig in for options to replace missing teeth.

Dental Implant

A dental implant is a metal fixture placed to your jawbone through surgery so that an artificial tooth can be securely mounted.

The procedure is usually done for people who suddenly lost a tooth or two after an accident or other dental-related diseases.

Dental implants are made from non-toxic, medical-grade titanium alloy.

Compared to synthetic materials, titanium alloy reduces the risk of allergic reactions in patients.

It is also highly resistant to corrosions and has good hard-tissue compatibility which means that this material fits as a solid replacement to natural tooth roots.

The success rate of dental implant surgery is around 95%.  And if managed correctly, the implant can last for 10 to 15 years, just like a common tooth.

However, there are also risks for the surgery to fail due to poor dental hygiene, gum disease, insufficient jaw bone, and other pre-existing medical conditions.

These are normally checked by dentists before recommendation.

The process involved to complete this course of treatment may take some time. 

After attaching the metal screws or ‘anchors’ in the jawbone, the patient needs to allow the area to completely heal over a few months.

If it goes well, these anchors will securely fuse with the jawbone and blend in naturally with the surrounding teeth.

Once the healing is completed, a dental crown is placed on top of the anchors.

The average cost of a single dental implant is AUD$3800.

Implant-Supported Bridge

An implant-supported bridge is a dental procedure that bridges the gap of missing teeth in a row or line. This option can replace up to five or six missing teeth.

An implant-supported bridge is identical to a traditional bridge.

However, instead of employing natural teeth as support, dental implants are used.

Note that this is also different from the usual dental implant.

3 Options To Replace Missing Teeth

If dental implants have metal screws on every spot of a missing tooth, an implant-supported bridge only fuses 2 anchors to the jawbone.

It also consists of one or two pontic crowns in the center and is surrounded by retainer crowns attached to the implants.

The process for this treatment is also similar to dental implants. The first phase involves surgically placing the anchors in the jawbone.

Then, the pontic and retainer crowns are mounted. Thus, this procedure may require several visits to the dentist for some time.

An implant-supported bridge is more expensive than a traditional bridge and may cost about AUD$3000-$5000.

Removable Partial Dentures (RPD)

A removable partial denture is a simpler option compared to the previous dental treatments. It's also designed to fit a spot or fill inn multiple missing teeth.

RPDs are typically made from plastic and acrylic resin.  If the idea of an operation makes you anxious, you may want to consider this alternative.

This procedure is less invasive and does not require you to undergo surgery.

Partial dentures are also more affordable and could go as low as AUD$700.

However, compared to surgical implants, it may loosen after some time and hardly installed dentures may cause it to be out of place. In worst cases, dentures may suddenly fall out of the mouth.

Partial dentures may also require extra care. It has to be removed daily before sleeping to prevent oral bacteria and fungi-related diseases.

Take A Risk

The options mentioned have their benefits and disadvantages.

One thing is for sure- replacing missing teeth can bring back the lost confidence a person once had and plays a vital role for us to function normally, like talking and chewing.

With innovations in dental health, restoring lost teeth and improving oral health is not impossible.

Needless to say, taking good care of our natural teeth is also essential. Similar to other parts of our bodies, it must also be given the attention it deserves.

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