front tooth replacement options
Published On: February 14th, 2024Categories: Dentures7 min readViews: 638

Front Tooth Replacement Options for All Situations and Budgets

The cost of front tooth replacement options is often a concern that prevents many people from obtaining the dental care that they need. There are a variety of ways to accomplish the same goal. The main difference is that some methods are much more permanent and long-lasting, while others can be less comfortable to wear or require replacement at more frequent intervals.

An Overview of Your Tooth Replacement Options

We’re going to discuss many of the options for replacing missing teeth, from the most costly to the least expensive treatment solutions available. That way, you’ll better understand what types of treatment may be best for you.

Often, it is possible to start with a less expensive solution, such as a removable partial, and transition to a more desirable type of treatment over time.

Dental Implants

Dental implants offer the most comfortable and aesthetically pleasing front tooth replacement option available. Since implants are designed to replace the roots of teeth, they integrate or bind with the bone upon healing and can be used to anchor crowns or bridges, making them function as natural teeth. Implants can last a lifetime, which can prove to be a benefit when considering your comfort over many years of service. Because implants offer the feel and function of a natural tooth, they allow you to enjoy eating almost anything without concern.

Getting dental implants is a process, not a single event. After surgical placement and healing, the function is established by restoring the dental implants with other dental appliances that may include crowns, bridges, or implant-supported dentures. The fabrication of these appliances incurs additional costs. Since the type of treatment that you receive is very patient-specific, the total cost of your treatment will be unique to you.

Setting Surgery Expectations

Single or multiple dental implants can usually be placed under local anesthetic within the same appointment. Following surgery and recovery, implants should be allowed to integrate for 4 to 6 months in order for them to become stable and one with the bone. During this time, you may be wearing a temporary removable appliance for appearance reasons until your implant surgeon determines that your implants are ready to be restored.

Although dental implants enjoy a greater than 95% success rate, not every patient is an appropriate candidate for the procedure. Patients with an insufficient quantity of bone to support dental implants may require additional bone grafting treatment prior to implant placement. Patients with certain conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, uncontrolled diabetes, or smoking, may not be suitable for implant surgery.

No implant, from a front tooth dental implant to a back implant, may be possible if the patents gum disease or bone loss. The surgery is best completed with healthy gum tissue. Despite their high success rate, implants can fail, usually during the healing and recovery process. Patients need to be aware that there are inherent risks to undergoing any surgical procedure.

Bridges

If you have a few missing teeth, it may be possible to replace these teeth with bridgework. Bridgework is a general term, as there are several different types of bridges available depending upon the treatment needs and the configuration of the teeth that require replacement. The bridge will often be secured by surrounding teeth.

These include traditional fixed bridges, implant-supported bridges, and resin-retained bridges.

Fixed Bridge

A fixed bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is used to fill in the gap caused by a missing tooth while simultaneously placing crowns on the two adjacent teeth to support the bridge, restoring both form and function with teeth that can be brushed and cared for like natural teeth. While this can be a great tooth-replacement option for patients who have natural teeth with cavities or teeth that are otherwise in bad condition, bridges require severely trimming the abutment teeth beside the missing tooth into a peg shape in order to accept the bridge – not ideal if your remaining teeth are intact.

In implant dentistry, dental implants can be used to support fixed bridges that fill the space left by three or more missing teeth in a series, reducing the total number of implants that would need to be surgically placed if each individual root were being replaced. In this case, a fixed bridge can provide a cost-effective long-term solution to replace multiple missing teeth.

Resin-Retained Bridge

A resin-retained bridge (also known as a Maryland Bridge) is a false tooth, usually made from a ceramic material, with metal wings that allow it to be bonded to the natural teeth that surround a single missing tooth. Since the false tooth is bonded into place with dental resin cement, it cannot be removed for cleaning and must be brushed and flossed like natural teeth. Because it is cemented into place, usually to the inside surface of the teeth, aggressive tooth reduction is unnecessary, and the bridge’s metal or supporting parts don’t show when smiling.

Resin-retained bridges can create challenges for maintaining proper home care and are prone to plaque and tartar buildup. They are also more suitable for replacing lower front teeth, as the wings that support the false tooth can interfere with the patient’s bite in the upper arch. Occasionally, the cement holding the bridge in place will fail, requiring a trip to the dental office in order to have the bridge re-bonded.

Flipper

A flipper is a special type of removable partial denture used to replace one or a few missing front teeth. This type of partial is usually made with an acrylic or nylon base, which supports denture teeth that fill in the gap between the neighboring natural teeth. A flipper may be secured and stabilized with clasps or denture adhesive.

While some patients wear flippers for a number of years, their use is designed to be a temporary tooth-replacement solution before a more permanent, long-term option can be provided that offers the wearer better fit and comfort. Flippers are frequently used while the patient heals from extraction or while dental implant integration is taking place.

Removal Partial Dentures

Removable partial dentures gain support from the remaining natural teeth and are designed to replace all of the missing teeth within a single dental arch. While a removable partial can be a good front tooth replacement option, it also works well to replace missing back teeth. In most cases, some type of clasping system serves to keep the partial secure.

Although most traditional types of partial dentures (such as acrylic and custom-fit cast metal partials) use metal clasps to stabilize the appliance, newer resin materials have been developed that allow partial dentures to incorporate either gum-colored clasps (Valplast) or tooth-colored clasps (Acetal Resin partials) that make the partial less noticeable and more aesthetically pleasing.

Regardless of the type of partial denture chosen, food particles will get under partial dentures from time to time, and they must be removed daily for cleaning and care to avoid tooth decay. In addition, the patient must also be committed to caring for their remaining natural teeth through proper home care and regular dental visits.

Due to the natural changes that occur with the tissue that supports a partial denture, most partials will require relining to improve their fit at some point throughout their life cycle. Partials made from high-quality materials, such as cast metal, can have an average lifespan between 5 and 10 years before they require replacement. These are solid options when patients need to replace a missing tooth.

Veneers

While veneers cannot be used to replace natural teeth that are missing, they can be used as a supplement to the restorative process to improve the appearance of the remaining front teeth that surround bridges, implant-supported crowns, and partials. A ceramic veneer is usually made from the same material as crowns and bridges, only in a much thinner form, and is used to cover the enamel surface of teeth.

This improves their appearance and allows them to blend seamlessly with the new dental work that replaces your missing teeth. Veneers can be one method to obtain the beautiful “Hollywood smile” that many people strive for. Like traditional crowns and bridges, their average life expectancy is 15 to 20 years, depending on care.

Get the Best Advice and Care

European Denture Center offers a wide range of front tooth replacement options as well as solutions for missing posterior teeth, incorporating many of the treatments discussed in this article. Our caring professionals will discuss all of the appropriate treatment options available to you and help you arrive at a plan that addresses your aesthetic concerns, your health, and your budget.

Missing teeth don’t have to be an obstacle to living your best life. See all of your options by scheduling your consultation appointment with European Denture Center today!