“All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!” It was a popular Christmas song more than 70 years ago, but the sentiment isn’t lost, even today. Having missing teeth, especially in areas that are visible to others, can do a number on your confidence. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Fixing a missing tooth is actually one of the most common dental procedures that family dentists perform on a daily basis. Millions of Americans opt yearly for fixing their missing teeth, restoring both their confidence and their beautiful smiles. So what are your options if you have one or more missing teeth? Is there more than one dental procedure for replacing lost teeth? Here’s information from family dentists in Essex County about the procedures available in dental offices today for repairing missing teeth.
Reasons to fix a missing tooth
It might sound like a no-brainer: you fix a missing tooth because it makes you look better. But the reasons for fixing a missing tooth go far beyond appearance. They even go beyond restoring your ability to eat normally. If you have one or more missing teeth, consider replacing it for any of the following reasons, even over and above restoring a more attractive appearance or ability to eat your favorite foods.
It may not seem so, but teeth are an important factor in your ability to speak properly. Without even realizing it, we use our upper teeth a great deal in modifying speech. Most consonants are pronounced using the upper teeth, and that means that missing even one can tooth have an impact on not only being able to speak correctly, but on being able to be understood.
Oral health is dependent upon all the structures of the mouth working in concert. If one tooth is missing, the space it creates can cause food to get trapped, which can lead to bacteria buildup and even tooth decay and gum disease.
Just one missing tooth can cause movement within the mouth, since just one space is enough to cause teeth to shift over time.
Otherwise referred to as facial height, the integrity of your face and head can be sacrificed by missing teeth because the face can gain a sagged appearance due to facial muscles being negatively impacted by missing teeth.
How to fix a missing tooth
Now that you know there are more than just a couple reasons for opting to fix one or more missing teeth, it’s time to learn about the options available.
If you’re facing the loss of a single tooth, a dental implant may be the way to go. Dental implants are artificial teeth that are designed to look and function like natural teeth. They look like real teeth and are created to fuse with bone and become a permanent part of the mouth. There are several types of dental implants available, including root form, plate form, intramucosal, and subperiosteal. Dental implants typically cost between $1000 and $1500 per tooth.
A dental bridge is great for someone who has a few missing teeth all in the same location. They’re especially beneficial for those who have missing teeth located up front. Bridges anchor to the teeth on either side of the gap. They’re similar to dental implants because they look and feel like natural teeth. The average cost for a bridge can range anywhere from $1500 to $5000.
Dentures can be full or partial, depending on what is needed. This typically is determined by the number of teeth missing and their locations. Partial dentures are made to fit into the mouth securely. They have metal hooks that fit around anchor teeth. Partial dentures can replace either upper or lower teeth. Full dentures are made to replace all the teeth in a patient’s mouth. This is a viable option, especially for those who need to have most or all of their teeth replaced due to tooth decay or other conditions, including some medical conditions. The cost of dentures is pretty reasonable, averaging from around $500 to $1000 per denture.
Missing teeth can put a damper on your self esteem, your social life, and even your business life. But negatively affecting your beautiful smile isn’t the only important consequence of a lost tooth. Depending on where it’s located, that missing tooth can affect your ability to speak as well as you used to, and it can even affect your ability to eat. The good news is that no one has to suffer from a missing tooth. Today’s top dentists have several procedures that are able to repair missing teeth and restore your bright smile. Contact a family dentist in your area to schedule an appointment to replace missing teeth and revitalize your smile, your confidence, and your life!