So you’ve lost your tooth or about to lose a tooth and you want to know what your options are. We’ve
covered not do anything and why that’s not a good option, however it is definitely one of the more
chosen options out there.
Next up is a removable appliance. There are different types of appliances that can be used to replace a
tooth. If it is a front tooth, you might be able to get away with what the dentist refers to as a “flipper”
or a temporary partial. This is just like an orthodontic retainer that has a tooth on it and has no metal
band to hold your teeth in place. It’s not recommended to eat with it in because it’s plastic. Thin
plastic. It is to be taken out every day, and when you eat. It should also be cleaned with denture
cleaner every evening to help keep the bacteria content down in your mouth. This is the cheapest
option, but if you chose to do this and you have insurance, they won’t cover a sturdier option for five to
ten years after they have been billed for it.
A step up from the flipper is a partial denture. This has a metal base that is covered by acrylic and has
the teeth built into it. For a single tooth replacement, this is a bit much, but it is the next cheapest
option and you can eat with it. This does work fairly well when a person is missing more than one tooth
on the upper or lower jaw. It’ll give the person the option of having to fill in all of the empty spaces
created by losing multiple teeth throughout the years. It is fairly sturdy, but I wouldn’t recommend
chewing on hard candy with it….or anything hard at all with it. It can break still. (as a side note, I don’t
recommend chewing on hard candies with your regular teeth either, they break too and it’s very painful
to have a cracked or broken tooth). These are removable so you’ll have a cup next to your sink to place
it in to clean it. Again if you have insurance, they only cover replacements every 5 to 10 years.
An interesting fact about all removable dental appliances (retainers and dentures included in this), your
pets love them. Mostly dogs as they love to chew on things, but I have heard of the wayward cat
chewing up a set of teeth (not as bad as a dog did though). So if you get removable teeth, PLEASE keep
them away from your pets!
People generally opt for the partials if they have more than one tooth missing. It is more cost effective
than having two bridges or two implants (I will cover these next time).