If you poll anyone on the street and ask them what their number one dental nightmare may be, losing their two front teeth will invariably top the list. From an aesthetic perspective, what could be worse?
The loss of one or both incisors can occur from a variety of circumstances. There are obvious events, such as participation in impact sports and activities such as hockey, football, and skateboarding. There is also tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis) which accounts for the greatest number of cases of missing teeth in Vancouver and Canada as a whole. There are also genetic factors that can cause congenitally missing front teeth. But did you know that anxiety can also indirectly result in the loss of your incisors? The latter was highly publicized after actress Demi Moore revealed on the Tonight Show that she lost her two front teeth to stress.
While understanding what can result in the loss of your incisors can help people prevent it from occurring, it does little to assist those of you who are suffering from this appearance (and function) altering dental ailment today.
So what are your options? Well, the title of this article gets to the point that a front tooth implant is the preferred solution, but let’s take a look at all alternatives so that you can make a more informed choice before seeking help from a specialist near you.
Options for Replacing Missing Front Teeth and What You Need to Consider Before Making a Decision
Following an immediate denture (the short term solution to “fill the gap”) a partial denture can be custom-manufactured and inserted to replace your missing teeth. This option will restore your appearance along with your chewing and speaking functions. Some people choose this alternative because it is the cheapest one. But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. As the years pass, even well-manufactured partial dentures will exhibit wear and tear that will render them less comfortable, looser fitting, and less effective in normal oral functions. This is why recipients find themselves dedicating more time and financial resources towards realignment and repair than they anticipated. We encourage you to learn more about partial dentures here before making your final decision.
Bridges typically cost more than partial dentures, but they indeed remain to be budget friendly for many. When using a dental bridge to replace missing front teeth, artificial teeth are secured into place by crowns (aka abutments) and cemented onto the canine teeth on either side of your missing incisors. Bridges are often more effective than partial dentures, but like the latter, they come with a set of concerns as the years pass. For one, they can compromise the integrity of adjacent canine teeth and tend to require more maintenance than natural ones that resided there before. And while they are a more comfortable than partial dentures, they still don’t feel as natural as you would like. View more on dental bridges here.
Front Tooth Implants
Everything addressed above leads to this inevitable conclusion – dental implants. The advantages are numerous and clear. For one, they look more natural than the alternatives. In addition, they don’t compromise the health of your canine teeth (those that sit adjacent to your incisor teeth), they feel and function just like normal teeth, and simply require the same oral care that your family dentist already recommends. Lastly (and importantly) the long term cost of living with dental implants can actually be cheaper than the alternative because when done professionally you won’t need to replace/repair them as often as you would dentures and bridges. View more on the key advantages of dental implants.
While this doesn’t sound like much of an “option”, some people choose to take no action after losing their front teeth. While we understand that this stance is often taken due to budgetary constraints, it is simply and unequivocally a very bad idea. Not only will missing front teeth impact your overall quality of life, including socially and professionally, waiting for the “right time” can complicate your future implant procedure. During that time, bone loss will occur, and this is one of the leading causes of dental implant failure. Not only will bone loss make it harder for a specialist to perform the implant procedure, it reduces the capacity of the bone to attach itself directly to the implant, rendering the implant without the adequate support it needs to maintain in the months and years to come. But don’t worry, even if months or years have passed since your tooth loss or extraction, a reputable prosthodontist can help restore your public-facing smile. This may come from a bone graft, or by utilizing the latest in technology and biological sciences. But in the end, the easier you make it for your prosthodontist, the easier you make it for yourself. And that means you should not wait another day to take corrective action.
Whether you live in the Lower Mainland or one of the surrounding island communities, there is only one place that you should consider for your front tooth implant procedure – Vancouver Dental Speciality Clinic on West Broadway. Contact us today at 604.336.0958 to schedule a consultation and find out how we will restore your smile to its former glory, or better!