Cosmetic Dentist in DC: What You Should Know About Replacing Teeth


A missing tooth can spoil your healthy smile. But did you know that unseen missing teeth – those in the back of your mouth – can also cause a variety of problems.  Dentists recommend that nearly all your missing teeth should be replaced. The only exception? The last molars.

There are generally four options available for replacing missing teeth. Each of these can be successful and there is often more than one option for your particular situation. Your dentist is your best source of advice and information about these options. But, individuals have different habits and expectations about dental treatments and maintenance. Here are some additional things to consider that may help you decide which option is best for you:

How long does it take to complete the replacement?

  1. Removable bridge: 2-4 office visits
  2. Fixed bridge: 2-4 weeks
  3. Complete denture: 2-5 office visits
  4. Implant:  3-6 months (implant treatments are complex)

What is involved in cleaning and maintenance?

  1. Removable bridge: Remove and clean after eating
  2. Fixed bridge: Have to floss with a threader
  3. Complete denture: Remove to prevent stains
  4. Implant: Brush and floss daily home care

How long does it last?

  1. Removable bridge: 5-10 years
  2. Fixed bridge: 5-15 years
  3. Complete denture: 5-10 years (relining often needed)
  4. Implant:  Root is indefinite; crown 5-15 years

What are the advantages?

  1. Removable bridge:  Economical and easy to repair
  2. Fixed bridge: Feels and looks like natural teeth
  3. Complete denture: Natural look, supports lips and cheeks
  4. Implant:  Closest to natural teeth; helps preserve the bone

What are the disadvantages?

  1. Removable bridge: Can cause wear and tear to adjacent teeth
  2. Fixed bridge: If one tooth fails, the entire bridge is affected
  3. Complete denture: With inadequate fit may have difficulty chewing and speaking
  4. Implant: Crown can fracture and screws can loosen or break

Your dentist will determine which options are appropriate for your particular situation. Before making a decision, it is wise to share any concerns about the replacement process and long term results. The best treatment is the one that repairs the dental problem, restores a healthy appearance and fits easily into a daily oral care routine.

Remember, beautiful teeth are healthy teeth!

Dr. Nishan Halim

If you are missing teeth, contact Dr. Nishan Halim, cosmetic dentist in DC,  to schedule an appointment. He will evaluate your situation and work with you to select the best replacement option for your particular case and circumstances.

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