OPTIONS FOR REPLACING MISSING TEETH

It may not have mattered in the past if people lost their teeth, especially those in the front, but it doesn’t mean that attempts weren’t made in the past to replace missing teeth, as archeological evidence suggests that indeed people in antiquity did wear “fake” teeth, and even before dentistry became a profession in the real sense of it, many acted on their behalf, even going as far as replacing missing teeth.

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In todays’ world where IMAGE is everything, a slight fracture on a tooth is a huge downer talk more space in the mouth (especially in the front) where a tooth or teeth once sat. There are several reasons why a tooth could be lost or removed either at a DENTAL CLINIC or outside of it, but once a tooth has been deemed fit to go by a dentist, or knocked off following trauma or the likes, it behooves on the person to ensure that s/he gets it replaced, if not for any other reason, aesthetics.

The options for replacement are varied, but can basically be grouped into the REMOVABLE and the FIXED replacements. The removable replacements are the dentures that are quite popular, and even if you aren’t wearing one, you’d know someone who’s wearing one. Very well done dentures worn by a very discreet person isn’t one that you’d discover easily though (without doing you some 007 on them).

FOR ENQUIRIES, Email: mkmaduka@gmail.com

Until very recently, especially in Nigeria NON-FLEXIBLE DENTURES were it for Removable Replacements. So that they wouldn’t fracture (as they were wont to eventually) during mastication, they (the plastic/acrylic ones) are made to be slightly bulky, especially when tooth/teeth replaced is/are back/posterior/chewing teeth. These plastic or acrylic ones, considered as Temporary Dentures sometimes are used by many as the main replacement option, while very few go for dentures with metal bases. Though, once a denture wearer gets used to using a denture it feels less cumbersome in the mouth. A one tooth denture will cost about =N=10,000, with additional teeth costing about =N=5,000/tooth at private dental clinics in Nigeria, while at government funded dental clinics, it may go for even less than half the price charged by Private clinics. Very few dental clinics make metal dentures, and these are far more expensive and suitable for people who have lost many teeth.

NON-FLEXIBLE DENTURES, SOME WITH METAL COMPONENTS
NON-FLEXIBLE DENTURES, SOME WITH METAL COMPONENTS

The newer and better option for the plastic Removables is the VALPLAST or FLEXIBLE DENTURE with better retention. It is thinner (hence not bulky), and rather than succumbing to pressure by breaking, “bends” to accommodate the pressure, returning to shape once the pressure is removed. Many Valplast wearers, especially those who had used the non-flexibles before, attest to how they can hardly feel the Valplast in their mouth while going about their normal chores, even chewing, unlike the situation with the other (non-flexible dentures). It used to be the norm to use plastic dentures till one was financially buoyant enough to get Fixed Replacements, but many denture wearers who could afford the fixed today opt for Valplast permanently. For people who have lost most of their teeth, or even all, Valplast is so far better than most of the options out there, besides being relatively less expensive. You may not find public dental clinics in Nigeria, offering Valplast, as most of their in-house dental laboratories do not have the equipment for it, as private laboratories do. Valplast therefore costs about =N=30,000 for a tooth, while additional teeth costs an extra =N=10,000/tooth. I am aware also of labs that charge a fixed prize for whatever number of teeth you want on a Valplast, and some of the dental practices patronizing such labs also have fixed prices for their Valplast irrespective of the number of teeth to be replaced.

FLEXIBLE DENTURE ALSO KNOWN AS VALPLAST.
FLEXIBLE DENTURE ALSO KNOWN AS VALPLAST.

For Fixed Replacements two types suffice, namely BRIDGES and IMPLANTS. A Bridge involves the preparation of teeth (by trimming/drilling off a bit of the tooth to reduce the height and width by a few millimetres, so that the resultant crown will become the exact size of the teeth, not bigger) adjacent to the space where a tooth is missing to carry crowns (tooth-shaped sleeves made of porcelain or metal or a combination of both that is placed over teeth), while a crown is made to float right above the space where a replacement is meant for. These crowns are attached together, with the arms cemented to the prepared adjacent teeth/abutments (in the case of replacing one missing tooth for instance), while the one in the middle sits over the space where a tooth was lost. Many times, the success of a bridge depends on the length of span, with shorter spanned bridges (as with replacing a tooth) tend to do better than long spanned ones (with say two or more teeth to be replaced, which means also an increase in number of teeth to be used for abutment), the merit over the Removables though is the fact that it doesn’t have to be removed to clean or when one is about to sleep. Over time though, it may begin to rock a bit, or fall off (but that isn’t without the “rocky” premonition), which will require a visit to the dentist for review and possible recementation. As for the financial implication, the crowns that make up the bridge are charged per unit, with each unit costing about =N=70,000 (with a 3-unit bridge, made to replace one tooth costing about =N=210,000) on the average at dental clinics in Lagos, Nigeria.

A 3-UNIT BRIDGE FOR THE REPLACEMENT OF A MISSING TOOTH.
A 3-UNIT BRIDGE FOR THE REPLACEMENT OF A MISSING TOOTH.

Finally, the Implanted Tooth is the top of the line for teeth replacements presently, and it involves fixing a metal that will carry an eventual crown into the alveolar bone on which normally, teeth take root. Titanium is the metal of choice because of its inert nature, as it doesn’t add or take anything from the body beside its presence. After insertion into bone, it takes about six weeks for OSSEOINTEGRATION (the functional and structural connection between bone and a load bearing implant) to occur, followed by the placement of an abutment into the implant, before finally a crown is placed (on abutment) to complete the procedure. This procedure takes between two months and four months to complete, depending mainly on how fast osseointegration is able to satisfactorily occur. Apart from the fact that a wearer doesn’t

PART OF ABUTMENTS THAT CONNECTS CROWNS TO IMPLANTS EXPOSED.
PART OF ABUTMENTS THAT CONNECTS CROWNS TO IMPLANTS EXPOSED.

have to remove it for whatsoever reason, it also has merits in the fact that no other standing tooth needs be touched (as with the bridge) just in a bid to replace a standing tooth. It is replacement tooth with all the works, including it’s own roots, unfortunately people who smoke, diabetics, or sufferers of autoimmune diseases amongst others cannot be availed of it, even when they can afford it. Dental implants can be used as abutments for bridges even as retention for dentures in edentulous (without teeth) people. Presently, the going price for it at most dental clinics in Lagos, Nigeria is about =N=250,000 per tooth.

STAGES IN IMPLANTED TOOTH REPLACEMENT.
STAGES IN IMPLANTED TOOTH REPLACEMENT.

In conclusion, I believe that no matter how good or convenient a tooth replacement option may be, nothing compares to the NATURAL teeth (except in very severe cases of DENTAL ANARCHY), hence what should be uppermost on our minds should be how to keep our teeth in our mouths by all means possible, exploring an extraction only when it has become absolutely necessary. I hope this helps you.

‘kovich

N.B. Exchange Rate as at 23rd October, 2015 is =N=199.15 – $1.

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135 thoughts on “OPTIONS FOR REPLACING MISSING TEETH

    1. Find below the different costs for options available:

      1. Non-Flexible Denture – N28,000.
      2. Flexible Denture – N68,000.
      3. 3-Unit Bridge – N285,000.
      4. Dental Implants – N380,000 x 3

      Like

  1. Gud morning. Pls what is the difference between flexible denture and non flexible denture. Pls can I av ur WhatsApp Num so I can snap d one and wearing and send it to u.I learnt d one I av is a denture like bridge. Pls am expecting ur reply

    Like

    1. With dentures the fear is mostly about fracture and loss of retention.

      Non-flexible dentures are made strong, hence can be bulky, which patients may find discomforting. Retention is better in the early days.

      Flexible dentures aren’t bulky, they accommodate pressure better, and don’t easily fracture. Retention is also better, as they have better grip.

      I have sent my number to your email.

      Like

  2. I appreciate this post. My only sister of a marriageable age had an accident in the course of service at the church and she lost her front tooth. Although i am not bouyant enough to get her a permanent replacement, i have been thinking how possible that can be until now. I will plan towards it.
    But my question is that, must those edges indicating an implant show? Secondly, what are the teeth used as a replacement made of,plastic or bone?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mark for looking in. Those “edges” don’t normally show in the successful cases. I only used the picture of a failing implant to show you the metal part, and differentiate it from a natural tooth.

      The material used for the removable replacements is ACRYLIC, much like plastic, while for the fixed replacements is mostly PORCELAIN, like Chinaware.

      Like

      1. hello i lost one of my teeth, and i am thinking of getting a dental implant, where is your dental hospital located,, and how much will it cost for just one missing teeth

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  3. Hi.
    Growing up, One of my baby teeth at the front did not remove to give space for the permanent teeth to grow.
    I got it removed and replace artificially.
    But now I’m interested in having a permanent one.. Non-removable
    How much will it cost?
    Please get back at me asap.

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  4. Thank you.Pls I have an an abnormal opening between my central and lateral incisors which became conspicuous after I had tar removed from my teeth 2 yes ago.Pls what do I do or who do I see.I want the gap closed and don’t want any of my teeth to fall off

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    1. The space must’ve been there all the while, but was covered by deposits like calculus, hence becoming apparent after you had your teeth cleaned.

      However, If you do want to cover the space, you will have to see an orthodontist, and possibly wear braces on your teeth for some period of time, till the space is closed up.

      Like

  5. I am a dentist working in Asaba.I wld like to know a good private lab where I can get flexible dentures made for my clients

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  6. Hi,have been having issues with my tooth for a long time n in d process puled out 2, while 3 others are damaged. Right now m having a bad tooth ache on one of d damaged tooth. Pls what do u suggest I do? I’m in asaba

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  7. hello doctor… i lost one of my front teeth in 2005, and i got a dental implant replacement in 2013, but at 2017, the fell, but the screw for the implant is still there, i quickly went to doctor then he did me temoprary.. how much will it cost me to fix a new crown

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    Like

  9. Hi there. Thank you for such a wealth of information. I’ve learnt a lot from you. I recently got the inflexible dentures and I must say it is indeed a ‘mouthful’. Please is there an age limit to wearing braces? I was told that peeps over 30 cannot wear braces as the bone structure isn’t as malleable as when one is much younger? Thank you for your time.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Peter, and also for finding time to look in.

      The inflexible dentures like you rightly observed are a mouthful. As for braces, one can still do it beyond the age of thirty, though it’s preferably done when younger.

      Like

      1. Thank you very much. In light of the current dollar situation, please what are the options for braces? A dentist told me there’s one that’s removable. It can be worn for certain hours he says. I would be grateful for your wealth of expertise. More ink to your pen.

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  10. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back sometime soon. I want to encourage one to continue your great posts, have a nice afternoon!

    Like

    1. Richmond Dental Clinic,
      26 Maitama Sule Street,
      Off Awolowo Road,
      Ikoyi,
      Lagos.

      Registration is N2,000
      Consultation is N5,000
      Cost of treatment depends on what we see during examination.

      Like

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