Upper False Teeth Options
Fortunately, for American adults with missing teeth, there are many tooth replacement solutions available. Struggling with missing teeth can lead to insecurities and difficulty with self-esteem. In most cases, a dental provider will recommend their patient with missing teeth consider dentures, or a range of alternative treatment options. However, if you are missing teeth in your upper jaw, and less permanent options, such as dentures, don’t seem right for you, you may be interested in more permanent replacement options. Before you decide on a tooth replacement treatment, it is important that you are familiar with all of the options available so you can pick the right one for you. Below is more information on the most common upper false teeth replacement options.
Popular Tooth Replacement Options
The right tooth replacement option for you will depend on your specific oral health needs. If you are interested in replacing one or several missing teeth, you should start by having a discussion with your dental provider to go over your replacement options. The best option for you will depend on your oral health, jawbone mass, and the number of teeth missing. A few of the most popular replacement options include:
- Traditional Dentures: Dentures are a full prosthetic set of artificial teeth designed to replace all of the missing teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw. Both upper and lower dentures are designed to sit on top of the gums and are usually made and fitted within 8-12 weeks after remaining teeth have been extracted from the mouth. As the mouth and jaw changes overtime without teeth to take up space, dentures will need to be refitted and replaced every few years.
- Partial Dentures: If a dentist decides that a patient can keep some of their natural teeth, partial dentures may be the right treatment option. Partial dentures are made of both acrylic and metal materials and can be securely attached or fitted in the mouth. One benefit of partial dentures is that they can conveniently be removed and taken out when necessary. Partial dentures take up space in the mouth, meaning they help prevent other teeth from shifting to fill in the space of missing teeth.
- Immediate and Generic Dentures: Immediate dentures are designed to be fitted immediately after the extraction procedure is completed. Although they are not a permanent solution, immediate dentures are an ideal temporary solution. Immediate dentures provide patients a temporary option that helps them avoid living without teeth and buys them more time to decide on the right tooth replacement treatment for them. After the gums have healed, immediate dentures can be replaced by cost-effective generic dentures. Generic dentures are a convenient and cost-effect treatment solution, but patients are not always satisfied with the security or comfort of their fit. Denture adhesive is available to help improve the stability and security of the generic denture fit.
- Dental Implants: Dental implants are one of the most popular and effective tooth replacement options available to adults. A dental implant is a titanium or ceramic post that is inserted into the jawbone during a surgical procedure. Once securely placed, the implant is designed to act like the root of a new replacement tooth. After the implant surgery, a 4-7 month healing period is needed to allow time for the implants to fuse with the jawbone. The popularity of dental implants is in part due to the fact that they offer a long-term and durable tooth replacement option. Many patients feel that implants offer improved comfort for everyday activities like eating and speaking over the alternative tooth replacement options.
- Implant-supported Dentures: For patients who have many or all of their teeth, implant-supported dentures are an ideal treatment solution. A supported denture is designed to sit on top of the gums, like traditional dentures, but is held in place by the dental implants. Implant-supported dentures can replace teeth on the upper and/or the lower jaw. Because they are securely held in place by dental implants, implant-supported dentures are more stable than conventional dentures. Additionally, implant-supported dentures do not move or shift during chewing or eating. The secure attachment makes implant-supported dentures more comfortable than many of the tooth replacement alternatives.
- Snap-in dentures: Snap-in dentures are another tooth replacement prosthetic that are securely held in place with dental implants. What makes snap-in dentures unique is that their design makes it so they can be easily snapped or clipped into or out of place using attachments on the dental implants. This means snap-in dentures are secure, convenient, and removable. A more cost-effective choice for patients who do not have any natural teeth remaining in the mouth, snap-in dentures are a popular and durable tooth replacement option. It is important to remember that patients must still have enough healthy bone in the jaw to support the dental implants.
- Dental Bridges: If a patient is only missing one or two teeth, they may want to consider a dental bridge. A dental bridge is another artificial prosthetic that is held in place by either teeth or dental implants on either side of the missing tooth. Unfortunately, to prepare for the dental bridge treatment, the adjacent teeth will need to be filed down, meaning healthy tissue is removed. Dental bridges offer a cost-effective replacement option with a secure fit.
Ask Your Dentist
If you are struggling with missing teeth, you should feel relieved to know there are many tooth replacement options available. Before you decide which option you prefer, you should have a discussion with your dental provider. Your provider will have valuable insight on which options may be right for you and your oral health. Next you should do your research to explore the recommended options. Dental implants, dentures, or implant-supported dentures are all worthwhile options that can provide you a solution you are confident and comfortable with. It also may be worth considering a temporary replacement solution until you are ready to invest in a more permanent solution. When committing to a tooth replacement option, you will want to consider many important factors, such as your oral health, treatment costs, and your overall quality of life.