Options For Replacing Missing Teeth
Many patients visit Lighthouse Dental Centre to replace a lost or extracted tooth. Whether your tooth was lost because of an injury or extracted because of decay, we can help you find the best tooth-replacement option. In addition, we can perform a variety of procedures to restore your smile’s appearance and function.
If you live in the Langley, BC area and need to replace a missing tooth, we encourage you to call our office at 604-888-9468 today to schedule an appointment. Our dentist will perform a thorough examination and explain your options for tooth replacement.
How Do I Determine Which Tooth Replacement Option is Right for Me?
When it comes to tooth replacement, there are many options available. At Lighthouse Dental Centre, we believe that it’s essential to give our patients choices. Every patient has different goals, lifestyles and dental histories. Therefore, the right tooth replacement option for one person may not be the best option for you.
To help you find the best option for replacing your tooth, we ask that you schedule a consultation. We will get to know you during the consultation and ask questions to help figure out which replacement method will be suitable for you.
We may ask questions about your hobbies or lifestyle. These may not seem like relevant questions, but if you’re a marathon runner or a singer, your tooth-replacement may affect these activities. This is also an excellent opportunity to ask questions about the procedure and costs and whether we consider other cosmetic procedures like porcelain veneers, composites or teeth whitening.
Which Tooth Replacement Lasts the Longest?
If you’re replacing a missing tooth, you want a solution that will last. Of course, even natural teeth don’t last forever, but a tooth replacement can last several years (decades even) with the proper care.
While there are many durable options for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are typically the best option. Implants are highly durable, but they also look, feel and behave just like your natural teeth.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
A dental implant replaces the root of your missing tooth, and a crown is placed on top to restore the appearance and functionality of your smile.
A dental implant is a multi-step procedure that can take several months. However, the results will be long-lasting.
- First, the implant must be surgically implanted into your jaw. The implant is a titanium post that’s inserted underneath the gums.
- Once implanted, the healing process will take several months. During this time, your jawbone will fuse with the implant.
- For the implant to succeed, there must be enough jawbone to support the implant. If you don’t have enough jawbone, we may recommend a bone graft.
- After the healing is complete and the implant is anchored into the jawbone, we will place a crown on top.
Not everyone is a good candidate for a dental implant. For example, if you don’t have enough jawbone, a bone graft is one option, but you may not want to go through that procedure. In this case, there are many other durable options, including dental bridges, but they also always have the possibility that we may need to do a root canal simultaneously.
How Do Dental Bridges Work?
A dental bridge is, essentially, a bridge that fills the gap between missing teeth. The bridge is secured by two crowns, which serve as anchors.
If you’re looking for non-surgical options for tooth replacement, a bridge is the most durable option. In addition, the procedure is less invasive than dental implants.
When you come in for your consultation, we will discuss the benefits of a dental bridge and answer any questions that you may have about this restoration. Unfortunately, the longer your space has been present, the more likely we will be limited in our treatment options unless we reposition teeth with an orthodontic treatment like Invisalign.
What About Dentures?
Of course, dentures are also an option for replacing missing teeth. Dentures aren’t as durable or natural-looking as an implant or bridge, but they are a quick and affordable solution to replace your missing teeth.
Advancements in dental technology now allow us to offer dentures that look natural and are less likely to fall out of place.
If you don’t have enough bone density for an implant and you want a quick solution for replacing your teeth, dentures may be a good solution for you. However, if you lead an active lifestyle, you may want to consider one of the other options we recommend, so you don’t lose a denture and have a cosmetic dental emergency.
Does My Age Affect My Tooth Replacement Options?
Many patients wonder whether their age will affect their options for tooth replacement. Our goal at Lighthouse Dental Centre is to provide you with options that suit your lifestyle and help you achieve a beautiful, natural-looking smile.
While age can be a factor in your options, your lifestyle is the primary concern. For example, seniors may not want to use dentures, especially if they lead an active lifestyle. In this, a dental implant may be the best option.
One important thing that we will consider when you come in for an exam is how long your tooth has been missing. Once a tooth is lost through extraction or injury, the process of resorption begins.
Resorption is when the body leaches calcium from your jawbone and redistributes it to other areas of your body that need it. Over time, the jawbone starts to lose its density. The longer you wait to replace the tooth, the less bone density you will have. This can limit your options for tooth replacement.
If you lose too much bone in your jaw, you may not be able to get an implant without a graft. However, bone grafting is a lengthy process that will add months to your tooth replacement journey, and we sometimes recommend sedation during this treatment.
If you have a lost or missing tooth, we encourage you to call our staff today at 604-888-9468 to schedule an appointment. The sooner we can find a solution that works for you and your lifestyle, the better. When you come in for your appointment, we will conduct a thorough examination, including taking X-rays and images of your smile. The exam and images will help us determine the best possible tooth replacement options for you.