I need to replace four front teeth. Two in the absolute front and the two teeth that are next to the left front tooth. I think one of them is called a canine. Can you tell me what my options are?
When you have missing teeth, there are several options:
1. A removable partial denture: This is usually the least expensive method. It clips on to your other teeth and can be taken out. This isn’t my favorite option. It will be obvious there is something foreign in your mouth, and though they can be made well, it will never be as comfortable as your other options. I recommend it as a temporary tooth replacement option.
2. A bridge: When you are missing four teeth, you’ll have to anchor it to four healthy teeth, so you will end up needing an eight unit bridge. With this size unit, there will be a lot of stress on them. Your canine tooth is the one with the longest root, because that tooth has to take a lot of stress due to its position. With your canine missing, the other teeth will have to take that stress. It could shorten the lives of those teeth. There is one other thing to consider with a bridge. If something goes wrong with one of the teeth in the unit, it is likely the whole unit will have to be replaced.
3. Dental implants: If you were only having one tooth replaced, I would likely recommend the bridge. Because you are talking about four teeth, I think dental implants are your best option. With implants, titanium screws are surgically placed into your jawbone and then prosthetic teeth are attached to them on the gum. It is the closest to having your natural teeth back. You want to be careful who places your implants. There are many implant horror stories done by unqualified dentists. Any general dentist is allowed to place implants. However, it takes a lot of post-graduate work, to be qualified to do them well. Look for someone with credentials like Dr. Arthur Chal.
This blog is brought to you by Arizona Implant Dentist Dr. Arthur Chal.