Mind the Gap: Your Options for Replacing Missing Teeth

Mind the Gap: Your Options for Replacing Missing Teeth

Sometimes a person who is missing one or more teeth figures they can live without them, as long as they don’t mind the aesthetic difference or experience trouble eating and speaking. It’s great not to be bothered by a missing tooth, but the gap in your smile will certainly have a negative effect on the health of your jawbone and the surrounding teeth.

Why Is It Important to Replace Missing Teeth?

When a person is missing a tooth, the neighboring teeth naturally shift into the open space. As a result, the opposing teeth (on the top or bottom jaw) experience unnatural pressure, which can cause damage, pain, and even shorten the lifespan of those surrounding teeth. In addition, the lost pressure on the jawbone (beneath the space where the missing tooth used to be) will cause bone deterioration, weakening the jawbone and changing a person’s appearance.

As you can see, it’s important to replace missing teeth – even if you don’t mind the gap. Luckily, there are plenty of options for teeth replacement that can meet any patient’s needs and preferences.

Most Popular Missing Tooth Replacement Options

Dental Implant(s)
Dental implants are one of the most popular choices for replacing teeth because they look and feel the most natural. A dental implant consists of an anchor that acts like a natural root and a dental crown designed to match the surrounding teeth.

Dental Bridges
A dental bridge is used to replace one or more consecutive missing teeth. The dental appliance affixes to two neighboring teeth or can be anchored using dental implants. The method of affixing the bridge depends on the type of bridge you choose.

An all-on-4 fixed denture can replace an entire row of missing teeth with a denture permanently affixed to four dental implants.

Snap-On Dentures
Like a fixed bridge, snap-on dentures (also called overdentures) affix to a series of dental implants. This anchors the denture, making it comfortable to wear while eating and speaking.

Flippers are usually used to temporarily fill in a gap since they are partial dentures that don’t affix to surrounding teeth.

Schedule a Smile Restoration Appointment with Our La Mesa Dentist?

If you’re missing one or more teeth, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our dentist at Cardinal Dental. Dr. Michels will examine your teeth and talk with you about all your options for replacing your missing tooth or teeth to help you determine the best course of treatment. To schedule an appointment or learn more, we welcome you to call us today.