2 Affordable Ways To Replace A Missing Front Tooth If You Cannot Afford A Dental Implant

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If you lost a front tooth during an accident or due to extensive decay, then you may think you are stuck with a gap in your smile until you can afford a dental implant or costly fixed dental bridge. While those are the two optimal tooth replacements that you should begin saving up for, that doesn't mean you have to live with an unsightly gap in your teeth until you come up with the cash. You can have a great-looking smile in the meantime when you choose one of the following, low-cost tooth replacement options. 

1. Maryland Bonded Bridge

A Maryland bridge is an affordable tooth-replacement option for a front tooth that does not need to withstand as much chewing force as back molars do. When installing a Maryland bridge, your dentist will first take a dental impression, and then send it to the lab to have a false tooth, or pontic, created that will fit well into the gap and have a color that will blend in well with the natural teeth surrounding the missing one. Then, he or she will see how well it fits you in the office and make any last-minute adjustments needed. Next, it will be bonded in place by attaching the small "wings" on both sides of it it to the adjacent teeth with sturdy dental resin. 

While a traditional fixed bridge is somewhat expensive due to the extensive preparation needed of the teeth adjacent to the missing one, a Maryland bonded bridge is typically much more affordable, because it does not require as much preparation of these teeth. A traditional bridge is also composed of two crowns that are placed on the teeth on either side of the gap and one false one, or pontic, to replace the missing one. To install a Maryland bridge, these two costly extra crowns are not needed. Another advantage to the Maryland bridge over a traditional bridge is that it does not require the two healthy teeth on either side of the gap being filed down to accommodate the two anchor crowns. 

While this is a good, affordable tooth replacement option for front teeth, remember that how long it lasts without needing replacement or repair relies on how well you care for it. You must ensure you never put more pressure on your "new" tooth than you have to while chewing and maintain good oral-health practices to keep the adjacent teeth in good shape. 

2. One-tooth Denture

If you would rather have a device that you can wear to work and events, and then take out when you desire, then a one-tooth denture may be a better option for you. While a standard, partial denture with a full palate can be created with just one tooth, there are other, more comfortable options today. One lightweight, one-tooth denture is called a flipper. While often more comfortable and lighter than a traditional partial denture, flippers are not made to last forever, since the lightweight acrylic used to make them is more prone to damage over time simply due to it being thinner. However, flippers are very inexpensive, so repairing and replacing one when needed typically won't be a huge expense. 

When choosing any type of denture, remember that it must be removed at night. 

If you have one missing front tooth, then you have other options that are less costly than a dental implant or even a traditional bridge. These alternatives are great if you are on a tight budget and simply cannot afford a dental implant right now. Contact a local dentist, like Michael R Bishop DMD & Associates, for more informaiton.