When you are looking to replace missing teeth, there are three main prosthetics that are often recommended by dentists: dentures, bridges and implants. These are tested-and-proven dental devices that can be used to restore a patient's smile and restore the lost function of missing teeth.
Tired of living with missing teeth? Let us take a look at the benefits and disadvantages of these teeth replacement options. Knowing the differences between these prosthetics makes it easier for patients to decide which works best for them.
These are arguably the most common dental prosthetic when it comes to replacing lost teeth. The low price tags compared to the alternatives are one reason, and some people also opt for dentures because getting them installed does not involve any invasive treatments or surgeries.
When a patient decides on dentures, the dentist takes an impression of the person's mouth. These dimensions are then sent to a lab where customized dentures are made for that particular person. Dentures can be easily inserted and removed.
Pros of Dentures:
- Help restore the appearance of the patient's smile
- Prevent the remaining teeth from moving toward the gap in the wearer's smile in an attempt to close it
- Restore the function of the missing teeth, allowing the patient to chew and speak properly
- Are the most economical solution when it comes to replacing most of a person's natural teeth
Cons of Dentures:
- Have a tendency to constantly shift in the patient's mouth; this can make them rather uncomfortable at times
- Do not inhibit the jawbone tissue loss that occurs when teeth are missing
- Come with a rigorous cleaning routine that can add an extra 10 minutes to the time the wearer spends on dental hygiene
- Are often held in place with dental adhesives, which may have an unpleasant taste
Patients dealing with an unsightly gap in their teeth can have it taken care of with a bridge. This device consists of fake teeth that serve as a bridge between the two teeth closest to the gap on both sides. The bridge restores the function of the missing teeth, allowing the wearer to chew foods and speak just like they did before losing any teeth.
Pros of Dental Bridges:
- Look natural
- Take less time than getting implants
- Are not as difficult to maintain as dentures
- Are more affordable than implants
- Prevent teeth from shifting
Cons of Dental Bridges:
- Need to be replaced every seven years
- Anchor teeth may need to be filed down during installation
- Do not adequately address bone tissue loss
Implants serve as a replacement for natural teeth and their roots. These are the preferred option when it is time to replace missing teeth. During the installation, a metal rod is inserted into the patient's jaw, and a crown is placed on it once fully fused with the surrounding bone tissue.
Pros of Implants:
- Look and feel like natural teeth
- Prevent bone tissue loss and alignment issues
- Maintenance is no different than taking care of real teeth
- Can last a lifetime with good oral care
Cons of Implants:
- More expensive than other alternatives
- Installation requires surgery
Replace Your Missing Teeth
Contact us to learn more about teeth replacement options to replace your missing teeth today! You can schedule an appointment online or call us at (714) 545-7157 to arrange your visit to our Costa Mesa dental office.
Dr. Eric Vanek, d.d.s
Eric has been a practicing dental surgeon for over 20 years and is the owner of Vanek Dentistry, a family dental practice in Costa Mesa, CA.
Published August 16, 2018. Updated December 15, 2023