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How Should I Replace Teeth?

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According to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 36 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. Even more telling is the 120 million Americans who are missing at least one tooth. That’s over 150 million people who are suffering from the debilitating effects of tooth loss. Therefore, if you’re a part of this statistic, just know that you are far from alone.

Furthermore, the team at Blue Coast Dental works hard to provide multiple options for patients who are missing teeth. With experts in prosthodontics and implant dentistry like Dr. George Cho, you can trust that your replacement teeth will look and feel as natural as possible.

Before we can get started, it’s important that you understand the pros and cons of three of the most popular options available in dentistry today. We hope that by learning about them in more detail, you’ll feel encouraged to ask more questions during your next visit!

Partial Dentures

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Partial dentures are typically made from acrylic or metal and designed to replace multiple teeth at a time. The material you choose will depend on your mouth’s shape, the number of teeth that are missing, the location of the missing teeth and how your current bite comes together.

The main pros of partial dentures is they are generally the lowest cost option and removable for easy cleaning. However, the main con to consider is while they do offer basic functionality for your smile and bite, they are often the least aesthetic option for replacing teeth. Thankfully, dentures are more lifelike than ever before.

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Traditional Bridge

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Bridges are also designed to replace multiple teeth simultaneously. Instead of being removable like dentures, bridges are designed to be fixed in the mouth, making it an ideal permanent solution to tooth loss. By creating a series of crowns connected together and placing them on top of existing teeth to anchor them, you can effectively bridge the gap in your smile.

On top of being effective for fixing your bite and smile, bridges are also more aesthetically pleasing than partial dentures overall, ensuring that your smile looks more natural when placed. With that being said, bridges are more costly than partial dentures and require buffing down existing teeth so they can act as abutments, or connectors for the restoration. While many people don’t mind this, it is worth taking into consideration.

Dental Implants

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Dental implants have continued to build a reputation as the most effective solution to tooth loss. By acting as a replacement for the root and the tooth, implants carry a number of exclusive benefits. By integrating with your jaw, they prevent bone from resorbing into other areas of the body, thus helping you maintain your fullest biting force possible. They’re cost-effectiveness is largely attributed to their longevity and durability, even after many decades of use.

Considering the benefits, it’s not surprising that the biggest con of dental implants is their high upfront cost. They also require oral surgery and several months of healing before they’re complete. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that implants are becoming increasingly comparable to dental bridges in terms of cost due to their increasing popularity.

Whichever replacement option you choose will depend on your needs, but the worst thing you can do is not replace teeth at all. If you or a family member is missing teeth and you haven’t done anything to replace it, now is the time to schedule a consultation and meet with our tooth replacement expert Dr. Cho. Even if you’ve been to the practice recently, you’ll be glad you scheduled another appointment to find out whether dentures, bridges or dental implants in Torrance are right for you!

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