Did you lose a tooth?

Tooth Replacement Options

Imagine you break a tooth and get the devastating news that it is not restorable and can’t be saved. Once it is extracted, what are your options for replacing that tooth?

According to the dentists at Goldenberg Family Dentistry there are many reasons a tooth may need to be extracted; severe bone loss from periodontal disease, a large cavity in which there isn’t enough tooth structure remaining to restore, a tooth that breaks from an old filling, a crown that breaks off at the gumline, or even from trauma. Before the tooth is removed it is important to know what your options are and have a plan in place.

The least expensive option is to have a removable partial denture made. Usually a single tooth partial that is made for temporary use is called a flipper. It looks like a plastic retainer with one or more teeth on it and sometimes has metal wire clasps. Impressions for that can be made and the appliance fabricated before the extraction is completed so that it may be delivered the day of the extraction and the patient is never without a tooth. Another type of partial available is a flexible all acrylic partial with pink acrylic clasps that look more natural than the traditional metal clasps. This type of partial can be used on a temporary basis, but can last many years. The most durable type of partial that works best for patients who are missing a lot of teeth, especially in the posterior region and need to regain chewing ability, is a metal framework partial with natural looking teeth and pink acrylic to look like gums.

Another option to replace a missing tooth is to place a fixed partial denture, also referred to as a bridge. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth are prepared for crowns and the bridge consists of crowns fused together that will cover the natural teeth and replace the missing teeth. This is a great option if you have teeth on either side of the missing tooth. A drawback though is the neighboring teeth need to be prepared for crowns which could mean removing healthy tooth structure. Also, if in the future there is an issue with one of the teeth, the entire bridge may need to be remade.

The most natural looking and easiest option to maintain is a dental implant. Implants can either be placed at the time of the extraction or after 4 months of bone healing. Implants are titanium posts that are drilled into the bone and allowed to integrate for 3-4 months. Then an abutment is screwed into the implant and the crown can either be screwed in or cemented on to the abutment.

If you are not sure what your treatment options are, call or click to make a consultation appointment with Goldenberg Dentistry today.

Partial Denture:

Advantages: low cost, quick fabrication, slight drilling on teeth, no surgical procedure, can replace multiple teeth, very little discomfort, average 10 year life

Disadvantages: must be removed daily, must be cleaned nightly, not secure, uncomfortable for some, does not maintain bone shape, does not look natural


Advantages: quick fabrication, securely cemented, looks good no surgical procedure, 15-25 year life

Disadvantages: cost, requires drilling of teeth, difficult to clean, decay around crowns possible, does not maintain bone shape

Dental Implant:

Advantages: no drilling on adjacent teeth, looks natural, securely cement into place, does not place stress on teeth, maintains bone health, easy to clean and maintain, 25+ years of use

Disadvantages: cost, surgical procedure necessary, longer treatment time from start to finish


About Jessica A. Goldenberg, DDS

Dr. Joel Goldenberg started his dental practice after graduating from the USC School of Dentistry in 1983. He is committed to excellence in dentistry. Dr. Goldenberg is a member of the CDA (California Dental Association), ADA (American Dental Association), AAID (American Academy of Implant Dentistry and is a member with the Santa Barbara-Ventura County Dental Society. Dr. Goldenberg is well-known for educating his patients and involving them in the diagnosis and treatment planning process. He is very conservative, honest, and appreciates the artistic side of dentistry. For the past five years Dr. Goldenberg has traveled to Honduras with his wife and other local physicians and nurses to provide medical and dental care at a free clinic. Dr. Jessica Goldenberg was born and raised in Ventura, California. She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the University of Southern California (USC) for her undergraduate studies. She graduated from USC with her Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene. She continued with the Trojan Family at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC where she earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Goldenberg was the recipient of the prestigious Rex Ingram Award for Excellence in Clinical Operative Dentistry. She is a member of the California Dental Association (CDA), American Dental Association (ADA) and the Santa Barbara- Ventura County Dental Society. Dr. Jessica loves working with patients of all ages, especially families and children. It is important to her to make pediatric dental visits fun and enjoyable. She also enjoys making beautiful smiles with cosmetic dentistry. She prides herself on always being honest and providing conservative dental care.
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