By the age of 44, nearly seven out of 10 people will have lost at least one permanent tooth. By age 50, the average number of permanent teeth lost by Americans is 12! Obviously tooth loss is an extremely common problem, and if you find yourself dealing with it, Bunker Hill Dentistry is here to help. Whether you’re missing one tooth or multiple, we can restore the appearance of your smile and the function of your bite. Our treatment options for missing teeth include: Implants Dentures Bridges Schedule a consultation today to hear from Dr. Le which option is right for you, or continue reading to learn more about missing teeth and what can be done about it. What Causes Tooth Loss? Credit: Authority Dental There are a handful of common ways you might wind up with missing teeth: Injury: There are countless everyday scenarios in which people lose teeth, from car accidents to falls to just biting into something too hard. According to the American Dental Assistants Association, Americans lose 5 million teeth every year in sports injuries alone. Periodontitis: It may seem hard to believe that not brushing regularly can lead to tooth loss, but it’s true. Plaque that’s not removed from teeth damages the gums and eventually the tissues and bones that support the teeth. This causes the teeth to loosen to the point they can fall out. Pregnancy gingivitis: During pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, bacteria and plaque more readily stick to the teeth due to changes in the body’s inflammatory response. This can lead to gingivitis and ultimately tooth loss if the woman doesn’t maintain a consistent cleaning routine. Osteoporosis: This condition of weakened bones can affect any bone in the body, including jawbones. When this happens, the teeth are less stable and more likely to move and ultimately be lost. Women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to lose teeth than women with healthy bones. Do You Need to Replace Missing Teeth? Absolutely! Of course there is the issue of aesthetics, as missing teeth can be unsightly and can even affect the shape of your face as your remaining teeth shift in your mouth and your skin sags because it’s no longer properly supported. These impacts on your appearance may cause you to be self-conscious about your smile and harm your mental or emotional well-being. Moreover, lost teeth can cause medical problems such as difficulty chewing or speaking, tooth grinding or sensitivity, irregular bite, or pain in your jaw or facial muscles as you compensate by eating slower or on only one side of your mouth. Your other teeth have to work harder and thus will wear down faster. It’s not even advisable to wait and see whether you can live without a tooth or two–when you lose a tooth, your body begins to leach calcium from your jawbone in a process called resorption. The longer you wait to replace the tooth, the more bone density you stand to lose, potentially limiting the tooth replacement options available to you. Treatment Options to Replace Missing Teeth Your options for restorative treatments to improve both the aesthetics of your smile and the functionality of your teeth include: Bridges: A bridge is like a partial denture, consisting of a false tooth color-matched to the teeth adjacent to the gap, which serve as the bridge’s anchor. See how bridges can be used to replace one or several teeth. Dentures: For patients who can’t have bridges, partial dentures made with false teeth and pink plastic to resemble gums are a great alternative. Find out why dentures continue to be a popular solution for tooth loss. Implants: Dental implants are an advanced solution to missing teeth in which a replacement false tooth is embedded in the jaw by a titanium post. Unlike bridges or dentures which eventually have to be replaced, with good dental care implants are a permanent restoration method. Discover more benefits of choosing dental implants to replace missing teeth. All-on-4 Implants: Also known as “teeth in a day,” All-on-4 implants are permanent replacements for either an entire upper or lower, or both, set of teeth anchored by four titanium implants. Obviously this option is only applicable to patients with extensive tooth loss or damage. Learn more about this innovative solution. Four treatment options for replacing missing teeth: Bridge (top left); dentures (top right); dental implant (bottom left); All-on-4 implants (bottom right). Credit: Authority Dental. Four Options to Replace Missing Teeth – Summary Tooth replacement treatment Number of teeth replaced Lifespan (with good care) Average cost range Procedure time Bridge 1-4 10-15 years $2,000-$5,000 2-3 hours over 2 visits Dentures 1-32 5-15 years $1,500-$3,000 3-4 hours over 3-4 visits Implants 1-32 20 years-life $3,000-$5,000 each 2-3 hours per tooth over 2 visits All-on-4 Implants 16 or 32 20 years-life $12,000-25,000 each 2-3 hours per arch Which Treatment Option is Right for Me? All the above treatment options are great solutions, but they’re not all a fit for every patient. Dentures are the most widely available solution, while implants are the most restrictive. For example, you may not have enough healthy bone density to support an implant. Your lifestyle plays a role as well. Some of the treatments involve more significant surgery and require deeper levels of anesthesia, which you may not be physically fit enough to undergo. Some are more expensive than others, which can be a deciding factor for many patients. But contrary to what many patients believe, age does not play a big role in your treatment options. Fortunately you don’t have to try to figure out which to go for on your own–the dentist will guide you into the right treatment at your consultation. Why Bunker Hill Dentistry? Dr. Le and his wife and office manager Ann Le Specialists – Dr. Le and our team can replace missing teeth and bring your smile back to normal with whichever treatment option works best for your situation. Serene setting – Our office is designed to provide a calm, relaxing environment to help put your mind at ease during treatment. Take a tour. Client satisfaction – We have one mission – total client satisfaction. “Care, Comfort, Convenience” is our guarantee to every client. More about Bunker Hill Dentistry. Reception room at Bunker Hill Dentistry State of the art – We utilize the most advanced technology such as the i-CAT 3D x-ray machine, All-On-4® implants and an anesthesia-delivery wand, for faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Conveniently located – Located in Memorial, just a short drive from Houston’s city center. Find us on the map. How Much Does it Cost to Replace Missing Teeth? The costs to fix missing teeth can vary widely because there are two key factors that influence them: how many teeth are missing and which treatment option you use. Within the treatment options there is also the question of materials; for example, if you opted for a zirconia crown on your dental implant, it will likely cost more than a PFM (porcelain fused to metal) crown. And if you have poor oral hygiene, you may even have to think about the costs of replacing the restoration not too far down the road. Once you have a consultation with the dentist, you’ll have a better idea of the cost of replacing your missing teeth. Schedule An Appointment Today Not been to Bunker Hill Dentistry before? To help you prepare for your first visit, read our new patient information page.