Before we discuss why implants are the best option for replacing missing teeth, we want to first address why it is important to replace missing teeth in general. As well as the other options of replacing teeth.

If missing an anterior (front) tooth, of course aesthetics are a main motivator in getting the tooth replaced promptly. But other than not having the noticeable appearance of a missing tooth, there are many other important reasons to replace all missing teeth.

Jaw Problems, Higher Risk for Decay and Disease, and the Likelihood of Needing More Teeth Extracted

Once a tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth will begin to move into the open space, shifting the alignment of your teeth. When teeth are out of alignment bite problems begin to occur. When the upper and lower teeth do not properly align your jaw is continuously strained – causing grinding, extra pressure, and ultimately destroying the jaw joint and leading to TMJ problems. Shifted teeth are also harder to properly clean which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.  Teeth also rely on one another for proper function. Without proper function, the occluding teeth will begin to drift out of place and can cause additional tooth loss.

Premature Facial Aging

Tooth roots are implanted into bone. That bone relies on proper stimulation to maintain its density and volume. When a tooth is extracted the bone will deteriorate over time (up to 40% bone loss within two years after extraction) which leads to the sunken or hallowed appearance in the lower face, also known as pre-mature aging.

Food Restrictions/ Poor Nutrition

Your teeth serve an important role in helping you properly break down food. Missing teeth tend to restrict what foods you can eat due to not having the ability to properly chew food. Limiting your diet to only soft foods may cause you to avoid foods that are vital to good health.

Replacement Options

Tooth-supported fixed bridge

A traditional bridge involves grinding down adjacent teeth to support the bridge. It is a stable solution with good esthetics and function that is fairly easy to install. However, this alternative has two main disadvantages: continuous bone resorption in the edentulous area, and sacrificing healthy teeth on behalf of the bridge. A bridge has an average life-span of 10 years before needing to be replaced.

Removable partial denture (flipper) for single tooth

This is not a permanent alternative to a lost tooth. It is unstable and loosely attached, which affects both function and comfort. A removable partial denture is made of plastic – a material that can’t create the same aesthetic result as a ceramic crown. The benefits are few but do exist: adjacent teeth aren’t affected. It is easily and quickly installed. Bone loss in the area will continue.

Why are Dental Implants the Best Replacement Option?

Whether missing one tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth, dental implants are undoubtedly the best replacement option to achieve optimal oral health and place no restrictions on your lifestyle. The titanium implant placed into the bone properly stimulates the bone which avoids bone loss and premature aging. An abutment and implant supported crown are then attached to the dental implant. The implant supported crown looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth. No other healthy teeth are compromised

in order to place an implant. Implants have the highest rate of success and durability- lasting a lifetime if properly maintained. Implants place no restrictions on food since they function like regular teeth. People who have implants report feeling confident in their smile.

What about the cost?

Each individual is unique, which is why we cannot accurately give an overall estimate of the cost of implants. Every patient’s case will differ when it comes to which dental implant option if best for them, as well as what additional procedures may be required. We can say that when comparing prices on replacing missing teeth, please consider costs over the long-term. A bridge or a partial may be less expensive now, but how many times do you want to pay to replace those options over your lifetime? After your free implant consultation in our office you will be given a cost breakdown for your case and can have the comfort of knowing that once you choose dental implants you have chosen the most successful option for teeth replacement.