During the initial consultation with a patient who has presented with one or more missing teeth, the missing tooth replacement options we offer depends highly on, how many teeth are missing, the condition of the gums and bone beneath the gums as well as what best suits the patient to maintain their oral health. Cosmetic dentists often offer their patients 3 options: a removable denture, a bridge, or a dental implant. Of these three most would ask: What is the cheapest way to replace a missing tooth? The answer is that there are two equally affordable tooth replacement options. You can take your pick between getting a dental bridge or removable dentures.

The Dynamic Duo of Options to Replace Missing Teeth

What Exactly are Dental Bridges?

A dental bridge is a fixed set of porcelain or composite resin teeth attached to the crowns, adhered to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. It is used to replace missing teeth by conclusively joining an artificial tooth to any neighboring teeth whether it is a real tooth or not. A dental bridge can be used to replace anywhere from one single tooth to four teeth, depending on the needs of the patient.

How the Condition Of Your Real Teeth Can Impact Your Decision in Choosing A Dental Bridge as Your Tooth Replacement Option

In order to be a viable candidate for dental bridges, you must have enough existing healthy natural teeth in your mouth to connect to with dental crowns. if your teeth are not strong and you do have gum disease, then a dental bridge is at risk of loosening over time. Even though a dental bridge can replace up to four missing teeth, it is not always recommended as the ultimate solution to replacing several missing teeth. If there is a need to replace the gap from 4 missing teeth, a much larger dental bridge is required and the larger the dental bridge extends, the more unstable the bridge will be.

The process of obtaining a conventional dental can be done in in two visits, each lasting on average about an hour to an hour and a half. Of course the less teeth that need to be replaced, the shorter time it will take.

The 4 Types of Dental Bridges for Tooth Replacement

The Cantilever Bridge- This dental bridge is similar to a traditional dental bridge, but instead, it is used more often when there is only one natural tooth on one side of the gap. This single tooth will have the enamel shaved down and have a crown installed to keep the cantilever bridge in place. Just like the traditional bridge, the cantilever bridge will be placed over the natural tooth as well as the gap.

The Implant-Supported Bridge – These type of bridges are necessary if there are more than one tooth missing in a gap. Because they are supported by dental implants, one implant is inserted for each one of the missing teeth. This procedure is what makes it one of the most comfortable and secure dental options of the 4 types of bridges.

The Maryland Bridge- This bridge uses a more conservative approach when compared to the traditional dental bridge as the artificial tooth is secured to the gum line with metal or porcelain structure. The framework is then secured to the surrounding teeth near the gap. This is a fantastic tooth replacement option for those who would prefer to avoid crowns or fillings.

The Traditional Bridge- It’s the first and most popular type of bridge that can contain one to four fake teeth to “bridge” the gap. It is the go to option when when suggesting dental bridges as one of the tooth replacement options.

How Using A Dental Bridge to Replace Missing Teeth Can Benefit You
  1. Compared to a dental implant, it is more affordable.
  2. It is a simple procedure that doesn’t require surgery.
  3. It greatly enhances your speaking and chewing ability.
  4. It can help prevent your teeth from shifting.
  5. It can last anywhere between 5-15 years with the proper maintenance.
  6. It does help improve your overall oral health.
The 5 Main Disadvantages to using a Dental Bridge as A Tooth Replacement Option
  1. Any future damage to the screw-like component that is Osseo integrated (abutment teeth) can jeopardize the bridge.
  2. If the crowns that are placed do not fit over the natural tooth properly, bacteria and plaque may get inside and causing tooth decay.
  3. Because a crown has to be placed over your natural teeth, the bridge may alter the structure of your teeth, affecting your bite.
  4. If the abutment teeth are not strong enough to support the bridge, the tooth supported bridge could collapse.
  5. The tooth supported bridge may be weakened by the procedure and and end up having to be replaced by a dental implant.

What is the Difference Between Full Removable Dentures and Removable Partial Dentures?

Full removable dentures are replacements for all of your upper and or lower natural teeth. This type of tooth replacement option is what most dental professionals refer to as a traditional denture. Whereas a removable partial dentures are suggested to patients who have remaining teeth. With full or partial removable dentures, a flesh-colored acrylic base is created with false teeth to fit over your gums which can be removed when needed.

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What Makes Removeable Dentures the Cheapest way to Replace a Missing Tooth?

When patients have missing teeth, or decaying teeth, it is more than just a cosmetic dental issue. We need our teeth to properly chew and most importantly digest our food. Whether you have one single tooth or several teeth that are decayed, after awhile will lead to gum disease, affecting not only your oral health but can cause other more serious health conditions throughout your body. You should call the professionals at Applewhite Dental Arts to discuss tooth replacement options. Though a removable denture is not a permanent solution to replacing missing teeth, it is the most recommended.

Hands down, a removable denture or partial removable dentures are the most cost-effective solutions to replacing missing teeth. Unlike the more permanent solution like dental implants, dentures take the the least amount of time to construct, there is no dental crowns to install and doesn’t require surgery.

What Are The Advantages to Having Dentures?
  1. Hands down, a removable denture or partial removable dentures are the most cost-effective solutions to replacing missing teeth. Unlike the more permanent solution like dental implants, dentures take the the least amount of time to construct, there is no dental crowns to install and doesn’t require surgery.
  2. Dentures, whether it is a full or partial denture, is a more aesthetically pleasing way to restore either full rows or full mouths of teeth.
  3. Unlike a dental bridge, even if your teeth or jaw are in pretty bad shape due to untreated but minor bone loss, dentures are still an option.
  4. Dentures are also relatively very easy to maintain and because temporary partial dentures can be removed, they can be cleaned inside or outside of the mouth. the mouth, with nothing more than a quick rinse after meals. Unlike dental implants which cannot be removed and are more expensive, you need only to put your dentures in a glass of cool water every night when they are not being worn. This can help prevent soreness to your gums.
Why Dentures May Not Be The Best Option for Replacing a Missing Tooth
  1. Even if you have some existing teeth that remain but still have significant tooth loss, without dentures your face can begin to sag.
  2. Overtime, dentures will start to wear down and have to be replaced.
  3. Because of the many procedures that take place in the 1-2 visits when getting your dentures, you will not know what the dentures will look like in your mouth until they are fitted during final appointment. Because of this, you may have to wear a temporary partial denture in between appointments.
  4. Sometimes, it can be difficult to remove dentures. They can often become loose or make clacking sounds that can be embarrassing or become a point of frustration.
  5. In order to keep the dentures in your mouth, the shape of your dentures normally have to cover your palate and can affect the way you taste food.
  6. If they get loose and move around, you may experience discomfort and soreness. If they are loose or move around, you might feel some soreness.

What to Consider When Choosing Between the Least Expensive Tooth Replacement Options

First and foremost, it is important that you practice good oral hygiene, especially if you have conventional dentures, a removable partial denture or dental implants. If you actually have dental insurance, even if it can only partially cover the cost, this would be the first thing to keep in mind.

If you do not have healthy teeth or need teeth extracted, this can way heavily on whether getting removable partial dentures, an implant supported bridge or dental implants is the best and cheapest way for replacing a missing tooth. The more severe your dental problems, the higher the missing teeth cost will be.

There is a large difference in the treatment options for those who have one single missing tooth, and those who have more severe tooth loss with multiple missing teeth. Tooth loss left untreated over time, results in bone loss. In this case, bone graft would be the surgery required and is an important factor when considering either of those dental services. Dental implants is an option to replace missing teeth but normal dentures are by far the cheapest way to replace a missing tooth or multiple teeth. Call the professionals at Applewhite Dental Arts to discuss your dental options today.