Your Concise Guide to Replacing a Single Tooth

Posted on: 18 April 2017


The loss of just one tooth can have an adverse effect on your smile. A missing tooth can also impact your speech, eating ability and your confidence when it comes to dealing with people up close and personal. That's why it is important that you replace a lost tooth as soon as possible.

However, while there are several single tooth replacement options available to you, you need to be sure that you choose the right one for your particular situation.

This guide can help you come to a decision.

The Cheapest Option: A Partial Denture

Of the three options at your disposal, this is the cheapest with costs varying depending on the dentist you go to. If your finances are an issue right now, then this is the way to go.

Partial dentures consist of an acrylic gum-coloured material upon which a single false tooth is attached. While this option is cheap, it can be uncomfortable due to the metal wires that are necessary to hold the denture in place. Although, initially, this option is the fastest, it may also require some adjustments over the first few weeks as your mouth gets used to it. Therefore, it might be weeks before you are able to comfortably wear your partial denture.

However, nowadays there is also a more flexible, and comfortable form of partial denture that is constructed of nylon, and which can be used to cover receding gums or exposed roots.

The Fastest Option: A Bridge

If time is of the essence, then a bridge is both a fast and long-lasting single tooth replacement option. There are two types of dental bridge, both of which can be completed in about two weeks, with two visits to your dentist.

The traditional dental bridge requires that your dentist remove some of the enamel on the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. A bridge which consists of a single false tooth with two crowns on either side will then be fitted.

A Maryland bridge or resin-bonded bridge is placed by bonding two metal or porcelain wings to the teeth either side of the false tooth, and is a good option for you if you would rather not interfere with the two adjacent teeth.

Dental bridges can last up to 15 years.

The Longest Lasting Option: A Dental Implant

This option is for you if you want something that will last. Although they are by far the most expensive option of the three, if you take good care of them, they will last up to 25 years which is longer than your primary teeth, which last about 5-10 years on average.

Because they are made of titanium and can be screwed into your jawbone, they promote bone growth and give you a chewing force comparable to that of natural teeth.

Although you may at first be confused about which option is best for you, a discussion with your dentist should clear things up. Bear in mind that of the three options, a partial denture is the least invasive and will allow you to progress to a bridge or dental implant at a later date.