According to dental experts, approximately 50% of the population is missing at least one tooth. Many are missing most or all of their teeth. This may be due to genetics, poor oral hygiene habits, lifestyle habits, lack of access to quality dental care, and so much more.
Missing teeth can cause a variety of oral and overall health issues, as well as impact your mental health. Rainier Ave Dental in Seattle, WA offers several solutions for missing teeth, including conventional dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants.
In this article, we will explain the problems associated with missing teeth. We will also explain the options for tooth replacement and why dental implants are considered the best option.
Long-Term Problems Associated with Missing Teeth
Missing teeth can have a significant impact on your entire life. Some of the long-term problems associated with missing teeth include:
- Difficulty speaking clearly
- Difficulty biting and chewing, which can lead to malnutrition and additional health issues
- Increased risk of additional tooth loss due to jawbone deterioration
- Reduced self-esteem
- Increased risk of tooth decay
- Increased risk of gum disease
- Misaligned bite
Teeth Replacement Options
At Rainier Ave Dental, we offer several tooth replacement options: dental implants, dental bridges, and conventional dentures. All three of these are effective solutions, but there are some differences. Here’s what you need to know about these options:
|Dental Implants||Dental Bridges||Conventional Dentures|
|Cost||$5,000 for a single tooth, $60,000+ for full-mouth restoration||Depending on the type of bridge, ranges from $1,500 to $5,000+||Complete dentures range from around $300 to $4,000 per plate, depending on the quality of the denture|
|Treatment Time||Minimum of a few months from start to finish||Typically takes at least 2 appointments, one to prepare teeth and order the bridge, and a second one to place the bridge||Typically requires at least 2 appointments, one to prepare the mouth and order the denture and a second one to place the dentures|
|Comfort||Feels like natural teeth||Can be comfortable, if fitted and placed properly||Not secure, slips/slides around in the mouth, causes pressure and friction sores|
|Life Expectancy||Implants last a lifetime; prosthesis may need replacing in about 15 to 20 years||Lasts an average of 5 to 7 years, may last longer with proper care and maintenance||Lasts an average of about 10 years, but typically needs to be relined every few years due to jawbone deterioration|
$5,000 for a single tooth, $60,000+ for full-mouth restoration
Depending on the type of bridge, ranges from $1,500 to $5,000+
Complete dentures range from around $300 to $4,000 per plate, depending on the quality of the denture
Minimum of a few months from start to finish
Typically takes at least 2 appointments, one to prepare teeth and order the bridge, and a second one to place the bridge
Typically requires at least 2 appointments, one to prepare the mouth and order the denture and a second one to place the dentures
Feels like natural teeth
Can be comfortable, if fitted and placed properly
Not secure, slips/slides around in the mouth, causes pressure and friction sores
Implants last a lifetime; prosthesis may need replacing in about 15 to 20 years
Lasts an average of 5 to 7 years, may last longer with proper care and maintenance
Lasts an average of about 10 years, but typically needs to be relined every few years due to jawbone deterioration
- Looks, feels, and functions more like natural teeth
- Restores ability to eat and speak naturally
- Restores ability to eat and speak
- May look, feel, and function naturally
- Restores ability to eat and speak
- May look natural, depending on the quality of the denture
- Does not always function or feel natural because the denture slides around in the mouth
Dental Implants: The Golden Solution for Teeth Replacement
According to the American Dental Association, dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement. This option looks, feels, and functions the most like natural teeth because the device is inserted into the jawbone. This creates a stable base for the replacement tooth/teeth.
The procedure takes a minimum of several months, possibly up to a year depending on your body’s ability to heal. The first step is to place the implant screw in the jawbone.
Once the screws are placed, you will be sent home to heal. During this time, the process of osseointegration occurs, which is a process in which the jawbone heals around and fuses with the implant, securing it in place. When osseointegration is complete, you will return to have the abutment placed and to order your prosthetic tooth/teeth.
The lab usually takes a couple of weeks to fabricate the prosthesis. Once we receive it in the office, we can schedule your appointment to have it placed. Before securing it, we will ensure that it fits properly and there are no problems with your bite.
After we secure your prosthesis, you will be able to return to your normal diet and enjoy your favorite foods once again. You will also be able to speak clearly, and your confidence will be restored.
In the past, most dental insurance providers considered dental implants to be a cosmetic solution and therefore would not cover it. However, many are now seeing the benefits beyond aesthetics and include implants in their coverage.
Schedule Your Tooth Replacement Consultation with Rainier Ave Dental
If you are missing one or more teeth, schedule your consultation with the team at Rainier Ave Dental today. We specialize in tooth replacement, as well as other general and cosmetic dental procedures. Our team works closely with patients to ensure that they are comfortable with and understand their procedures.
We are located on Rainier Ave in Seattle. Our office hours are Monday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Wednesday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Friday by appointment only. We are available for dental emergencies at any time.
Tooth Replacement FAQs
The team at Rainier Ave Dental understands that dental conditions and procedures can be confusing. That is why we are happy to discuss your questions and concerns at any time before, during, and after your treatment. Below are some of the most common questions we are asked about tooth loss and replacement solutions.
What causes missing teeth?
Missing teeth can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Lack of proper dental care
- Lifestyle habits, including smoking and excessive alcohol/drug use
- Using teeth as tools
- Gum disease
- Underlying health issues
What are the impacts of missing teeth?
Missing teeth can impact your entire life:
- Difficulty chewing, leading to malnutrition
- Lowered self-esteem
- Increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and additional tooth loss
- Increased risk of jawbone deterioration
What are the options for tooth replacement?
The most common options for tooth replacement are dental implants, dental bridges, and conventional dentures.
- Conventional dentures can replace some teeth (partial) or an entire arch (complete).
- Dental bridges replace several missing teeth in a row.
- Dental implants can replace a single tooth or 2+ can be used together to create support for a dental bridge, partial denture, or complete denture. Implant-supported dentures and bridges are a more affordable option for replacing many missing teeth.
Why are dental implants so expensive?
The average cost for a single dental implant is around $5,000. Full-mouth restoration typically costs $60,000+. The high cost of dental implants is due to the implant materials and the complexity of the procedure. Implant placement is a surgical procedure and requires the services of a specialist. Plus, there are several steps involved in treatment, which means several office visits.
Does dental insurance cover tooth replacement?
Dental insurance providers typically cover conventional dentures and bridges. In the past, dental insurance providers refused to cover dental implants because they were deemed a cosmetic procedure- but in recent years, many are starting to recognize the benefits of implants and will cover a portion of the procedure. Our office staff will work with your provider to determine coverage. If you need help paying for your dental procedures, we will be happy to explain our financing options.