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If you’ve had a tooth pulled recently or have lost one for any reason, you’ve probably found yourself wondering what your different options are. Most people don’t care to leave a gap in their teeth where one used to be, making tooth replacement a preferable course of action. Even then, there are multiple options to choose from.

Implants

Dental implants are a permanent solution to a missing tooth. They look and feel like real teeth, and are very effective. The teeth next to the implant remain intact, unlike bridges, and can be used to replace single teeth, multiple teeth, or teeth in different areas of the mouth. That said, the perks come at a cost. Implants are one of the most expensive tooth replacement options, costing thousands of dollars per implant. It’s a pretty lengthy process as well. The root will first be replaced with a metal screw. That will need a few months to heal before the crown is placed on top. That said, if you can finance the upfront cost, you could end up saving money in the long run. Implants last a lifetime, unlike other options that need to be replaced.

Bridges

There are two types of bridges: implant-supported bridges, and tooth-supported bridges. Implant-supported bridges can be a more cost-effective option than implants when there are multiple teeth in a row that need to be replaced. The name of each type of bridge is indicative of the anchors used to support the bridge. With implant-supported bridges, one tooth on each end is implanted, holding the bridge in place. It’s an effective option that still offers a natural look. You’ll need to go through the process of having implants installed though, which can take time and is relatively invasive.

Tooth-supported bridges are less invasive than implant-supported bridges. They require the teeth bordering the bridge to be filed down so a crown can be installed on top that supports the bridge. This puts you at a higher risk of infection and can cause damage to your teeth over time if the bridge isn’t fitted properly. Like implant-supported bridges, this type of bridge is a more economical option than implants and still offers a natural look.

Dentures

Dentures can come in a complete set or as a partial denture. One of the benefits of using dentures as a tooth replacement option is that teeth can be added to the denture in the future if you lose more of them. They’re generally the most cost-effective option too. Repairs and replacements can be handled easily enough. On the other hand, dentures require daily cleaning and can’t be worn while sleeping. Partial dentures can be uncomfortable as well. They don’t have quite the same natural appearance as other tooth replacement options either.

Not all tooth replacement options are equally good for everyone. Based on the different pros and cons of each, the decision may be easy to make, or at least the options may be narrowed down. Talk to your dentist about the different tooth replacement options they offer so you can choose the one that will work best for you.

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