• What Are My Options for Tooth Replacement After Extraction?

    What Are My Options for Tooth Replacement After Extraction?

    After you have a tooth extracted, replacing the tooth is an important step to make sure you keep the bones in your mouth healthy. Because neglecting to replace the tooth can cause bone density loss. 

    Not only do the bones in your mouth weaken when you leave a gap where your extracted tooth was, but your teeth can also start shifting, causing discomfort and a crooked smile. You might even have trouble eating if you don’t replace your missing tooth.

    The good news is that you have multiple options for replacing your extracted tooth, either temporarily or permanently. Take a look at each item on the list, including its pros and cons, to find out which tooth restoration option might be right for you. 

    Once you decide, reach out to your dentist to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

    Flipper Tooth

    A flipper tooth is essentially a retainer you can take in and out that has one or more prosthetic teeth attached. It will help you fill out your smile and eat more easily after a tooth extraction.

    The biggest pro of a flipper tooth is that it’s one of the least expensive options when it comes to replacing an extracted tooth. It’s also a relatively quick fix, as you won’t have to wait long for the dentist to create your flipper tooth.

    The most notable downside of a flipper tooth is that it’s only meant to be temporary, so it can break more easily than other options. It might also be uncomfortable to wear, and some people could have an allergic reaction to the material of the retainer.

    If you do opt for a flipper tooth, you’ll need to clean it thoroughly and regularly, as a dirty flipper tooth can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. The flipper may also lessen the flow of saliva, which can increase the risk of gum recession.

    Removable Partial Dentures

    You may have heard of full dentures, but you may not know as much about partial dentures, which are also options for replacing missing teeth.

    Removable partial dentures are natural-looking teeth that sit on a pink base that resembles gums. They will help to fill out your smile and also the space your extracted tooth has left, thus helping you avoid any shifting.

    You will also find eating much easier, and you can smile confidently knowing that your smile is full and looks natural.

    This is another relatively inexpensive option for extracted tooth replacement, and it’s also easy to maintain. You just need to rinse off your partial dentures once a day and keep them clean and dry while you sleep.

    Dentists can add more teeth to the partial dentures if needed in the future, and they can adjust your partial dentures if they get sore or uncomfortable.

    However, you can’t wear partial dentures all day and should take them off at night. They are also not quite as natural-looking as other more permanent options for tooth replacement.

    Dental Bridge

    Another option to consider is a dental bridge, which utilizes the support of the two teeth on either side of your gap from tooth extraction as support for the prosthetic tooth to fill that gap. 

    Dental bridges are fixed, so you cannot take them off without the help of a dentist. But this also makes them more durable and longer-lasting than temporary options. They are also less invasive than a dental implant, because they require no surgery.

    The downside is that you do have to get your teeth on either side filed down so your dentist can place crowns on those teeth to affix the bridge. You also need to be extremely careful while cleaning dental bridges, as food particles can get stuck under the bridge, causing decay and bone loss over time.

    If you have had more than one tooth in a row extracted, you can also get an implant-supported dental bridge that only requires you to get dental implants on either side and use a bridge for the final tooth restoration, which is more cost-effective than getting a dental implant for each missing tooth.

    Dental Implant

    Dental implants are the most costly and complicated but also the most effective solutions for missing teeth. In fact, a dental implant looks just like a real tooth and can last a lifetime.

    To get a dental implant, you have to be ready for multiple trips to the dentist, though the procedure is not as painful or as much trouble as it might seem. First, the dentist will replace the roots of your missing tooth with dental screws. You will need to wait for the root implants to heal and fuse to your jawbone.

    Then, once your dental implant has healed, your dentist will fix a crown to the screws as its anchor to finalize your dental implant. 

    Though this is the most expensive option for extracted tooth restoration, it is the most permanent and reliable. So, while the time and money it takes can be downsides to the procedure, it might be worth the effort for a natural-looking tooth to last a lifetime.

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