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.

InstagramCapture_fb2c972e-9306-4cc6-b8e4-2f488278abbb_jpg

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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79 thoughts on “OPTIONS FOR REPLACING MISSING TEETH

    1. You’re welcome Ip Lyricx, on the look of things, it may appear expensive, but all that could be negotiated, besides the fact that it could also be done for less at some other clinic if one looked.

      Also, for the fixed replacements, that require more than a visit, over weeks or months, payment could be made in instalments.

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  1. I love this exposition, even though I don’t have dental challenges today. After all, nobody knows tomorrow. In answering IP Lyricx, you indvertently answered same question on my mind. My next question is this: for a person who’s lost his or her teeth (molars/premolars) for over a decade, is temporary or permanent teeth replacement still effectively possible? Thanks.

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    1. It depends on how long since the tooth was lost.

      Changes occur after a tooth is lost. The ALVEOLAR BONE on which teeth stand begins to shrink on the part where the tooth/teeth used to be, and loses height as well totally eliminating the possibility of making a REMOVABLE REPLACEMENTS, though an IMPLANT may be placed there after augmentation of the area with some bone (usually artificial).

      Another thing that may happen after a tooth is lost, is that the tooth behind the missing one tends to move into the space, while the molar/premolar opposite the missing one also tends to grow into the space, in an attempt to block it, howbeit awkwardly, thereby making a replacement by either of the means impossible, especially if lots of years have passed since the tooth/teeth was/were lost.

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  2. Could you recommend any dentist or clinic that does dental implants and filling around festac area of Lagos.pulled three already and have holes in about four.i don’t wanna pull any other tooth and still wanna replace the vacant ones.thanks

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    1. I am not too conversant with dental clinics in that part of Lagos, in fact the only dental clinic I know in Alimosho LG is the one directly in front of LASU gate as you make for Badagry.

      For Dental Implants, location is less a consideration to competence, and anywhere a competent hand is in Lagos, shouldn’t be too far for you to visit.

      If you asked me, I’d say you should visit – RICHMOND DENTAL CLINIC,
      26, MAITAMA SULE STREET,
      OFF AWOLOWO ROAD,
      IKOYI, LAGOS.

      I am certain that you will get your dental implants done for a good bargain.

      Like

  3. This post is helpful i got all the info i need but i dont have that kind of money its too expensive. I have a broken tooth, infact two that means i will have over half a million to get them replaced.!!

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    1. Thank you Cynthia for looking in. If you have broken teeth, depending on the level at which they were fractured, you may not have to lose them to replace them.

      But if you will lose them, you may do the removables initially, then when financially buoyant, consider the fixed replacements.

      I know a few clinics where you can do the fixed replacements by paying over time till you complete the procedure such that paying the huge sum at once won’t be burdensome.

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      1. Can u recommend a good clinic in Lagos where I can do a fixe replacement of one of my front teeth at an affordable price. Thanks

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    1. Yep, you can do removable replacements like the flexible (valplast) or non-flexible dentures, or a fixed replacement like a BRIDGE, as I’ve variously described in the post.

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  4. Hi. I have congenitally missing lateral incisors and I’m currently wearing braces to create space for dental implants as my teeth moved. I want to know how much the implants costs now. Do you have an idea?

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    1. It costs about =N=300,000 (competitively and conservatively speaking) to have an implant placed in Nigeria today.

      Unfortunately, if the economy continues it’s southward slide, it may cost even more, as all the materials used for the procedure is sourced abroad with scarce forex.

      Like

  5. I have a gap in my front teeth down. It has continued to wide over d years and at times I feel pains in my gum around d area where I have d gap.can d gap be closed permanently? I don’t want a removable stuff.n how much will it cost I stay in abuja

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    1. It is important that you see a dentist as soon as possible, as there are many variables I may not be able to glean from here without actually seeing your teeth.

      Sometimes a denture can be made to cover the space, but that may not necessarily stop your teeth from moving and expanding the space further, interestingly you also don’t want that.

      You may see an orthodontist (dentists who place braces on teeth), to review you and offer a treatment plan that will not only reset your teeth, but stop further drifting, assuming that there are no other underlying dental conditions.

      Orthodontic treatment costs between a million or two, though I am aware that it may be more expensive in Abuja, but the good thing is, because orthodontic treatment takes about 18 months to complete, you may make the payment in installments over the period of treatment. I hope this helps you, Onyi.

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  6. Hello pls, am thinking about having an implant soon, am missing a canine tooth on my lower jaw, but I nid to get a temporary fix before getting d implant, is there anything like a non removable denture and also how much does it cost for just d one tooth in a government funded institution.

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    1. Though it isn’t in the books, I’m aware that some dentists do something like that, however the demerits inherent in doing a non-removable denture, far outweighs the merits. I doubt dentists within the government funded institutions would want to do something like that. It follows that I also don’t know how much it costs to do something like that.

      For one, because of difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene around the appliance, the health of periodontal tissues around the teeth adjacent to the one you lost, as well as underlying bone, which you need for successful implant procedure in future will be compromised.

      Your best bet, if indeed you intend to do implants is to do a flexible denture, while you raise the amount needed for implants.

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  7. I remove 4 of my tooth due to tooth decay and Gum disease, but that has been treated, Is there a way I can have a dental implant and How much will it cost me for 4 tooth ?please reply

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Surely, you can have dental implants placed in the sites where you extracted the teeth. In Nigeria, the going cost of placing an implant is ₦300,000 (about $705) per tooth. Though since you may be replacing 4 teeth, you may get some discounts.

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  8. Hello. My questionis a bit off from getting implants. My wisdom tooth at the back cracked thus leaving a hole. The too however is also impacted and not fully out of the gum. I visited the dentist but the price scared me. I was told it needs to be surgically removed and will cost 60k. Pls any recommendations on a good, affordable dental clinic..i never knew surgical tooth extraction were that pricey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, if you know what goes into doing a surgical extraction, you’d understand why it’s that pricey.

      It’s even further complicated by the fact that it’s cracked. I know a clinic where you can have it done for 55K, but you’ll have to also register with 2K, pay 5K for Consultation, and 4K for a periapical X-ray/Radiograph to enable the dentist see what the roots of the tooth look like. In all it will cost you 66k.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I really don’t know how much it will cost you to place a “replacement” in the gap in Lokoja, since I don’t operate there, but I know that in Lagos, it will cost you about N16,000 to do a non-flexible denture replacing a tooth.

      Like

  9. Hello, this an helpful and informative post.
    About 2years ago I fractured a front tooth (lateral incisors) after unknowing biting so hard on a sharp bone. This left the greater path of the tooth off, but the remaining small part still stands, I now even bite with it. I’ll love to have my smile back, what’s the best option for me, and the cost. Thanks

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    1. The treatment will depend largely on the level of the fracture and the presence or not of pain.

      If there’s pain because the pulp (the third layer of tooth) is involved, then the tooth will have to undergo a Root Canal Therapy/Treatment, RCT.

      If there’s no pain, then based on the level of fracture, two options can be explored. If about a third of the tooth above gum is fractured, then you may place a “tooth colored filling” there. This will cost you about ₦15,000 in most dental clinics in Lagos, Nigeria besides the cost of registration and consultation.

      If it’s more than that then you have to place a crown on the tooth, which is done by reducing the size of the tooth, especially the sides to accommodate a crown/cap of the exact size, shape and shade of your tooth. You will initially get a temporary crown, while an impression of the tooth will be sent to the lab for the fabrication of a permanent crown. This costs between ₦90,000 & ₦100,000 besides cost of registration and consultation.

      The permanent crown usually takes about 3 weeks, then you’re called, the temporary is removed and replaced with the permanent, which is cemented to your tooth stump.

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  10. Gudevening, pls hw much does a Maryland bridge cost, have read a lot about it n it looks gud. Am going to a dental clinic probably end of November n I nid to knw how much it would cost before hand. I initially wanted to get d valsplast via ur suggestion, buh I would rather have a non removable option. thanks in anticipation of ur reply.

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    1. A Maryland bridge is good, though not many clinics will present it as a first (or as part of the) option(s) to patients.

      It should cost you between ₦150,000 & ₦200,000 to do.

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    1. Hi Confidence, If there’s no pain, you may just do a tooth-coloured filling to make up for the fractured aspect of the tooth. This will cost you about ₦17,000.

      FILLING OF FRACTURED TOOTH USING TOOTH-COLOURED COMPOSITE CEMENT.

      Alternatively, or if there is pain on the tooth because of pulpal involvement (i.e. the nerve of the tooth is affected), then you may need to stop the pain by doing a ROOT CANAL THERAPY, RCT, before placing a CROWN/CAP on the tooth to restore it to function. This should cost you about ₦160,000.

      PROCESS OF ROOT FILLING A PAINFUL FRACTURED TOOTH FOLLOWED BY CAPPING.

      I hope you find this helpful, and wish that your confidence would sooner than later be restored.

      Like

  11. I have a natural wide tooth gap at my front teeth and lower teeth. Though I don’t feel any pain and my gums are healthy. What do I do to get rid of it without pain?

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    1. 1. The simpler and least expensive solution is to place a tooth coloured/composite filling, on the side of the teeth, to cover the gap. This however, isn’t a more sustainable solution.

      COMPOSITE FILLING PLACED BESIDE TEETH TO COVER GAP/MIDLINE DIASTEMA.

      2. You can place a veneer (cover on the face of the teeth) or a crown/cap on the affected teeth, that will tend to increase the width of the teeth, in order to cover gap/space/diastema.

      3. You can see an orthodontist, who will place braces on your teeth, to draw those apart together, over a period of eighteen months or thereabouts. Afterwards, the orthodontist may fabricate a removable appliance called a retainer, which you’ll wear for six months after removing the braces, to stop the teeth from reverting to the former condition.

      METAL BRACES PLACED ON TEETH TO CORRECT MIDLINE DIASTEMA/GAP.

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  12. Hy u’r post is very hlpful…Buh my tooth here (front tooth) has been shaking for months nw, like it might fall anytime soon..plz wat do I do? I’m soo scared I don’t want to loose my tooth

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    1. Shaky tooth, or mobility of tooth has grades, a less mobile tooth can still be saved by SPLINTING (unlike a very mobile tooth), in which a mobile tooth is held to other non-mobile neighbouring teeth by a metal wire for a few weeks. This helps share the pressure that should go to the mobile tooth alone, with those now associated with it. There may be a need to do a root canal (removal of the nerves and blood vessels from the pulp) on the mobile tooth while it’s splinted. If in the end, firmness is restored, the splint is removed but if not, it means the tooth cannot be saved, hence an extraction (removal) of the tooth will suffice.

      If the tooth is extracted, you may choose any of the options highlighted above to replace the extracted tooth. Usually, for a front tooth, an impression for an IMMEDIATE DENTURE is taken before the extraction of the tooth, such that once the denture is ready, the tooth is then extracted, and immediately replaced with the immediate denture so that there won’t be a moment where you get to be with a gap caused by a missing or extracted tooth in the mouth.

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  13. Thankz so much…Buh I don’t really know if this one can b saved or not. Can u recommend any hospital here in potharcourt where I can go to extract or save it since I can’t cum to lagos

    Like

    1. Bona Dental Clinic
      General and implant dentistry
      Address: Plot 80a FHA Estate. Along Dr Peter Odili Road, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
      Phone: +234 84 239093, 084-770768, 08033129073

      Hebgreen Dental Clinic
      General dentistry, orthodontics
      Address: 19 Afam Street, off Kaduna Street, D-line, Port Harcourt.
      Phone: +234 84 802660, 08034186722.

      You can also Google other clinics there, to see one that’s closest to you.

      Like

    1. Brownish tint may mean the tooth is dead or dying, though you didn’t add whether there’s pain or there’s been swelling of the gum related to it, even mobility as the case may be, in the immediate or remote past.

      A radiograph (X-ray) will help determine the course of action, between doing a Root Canal Treatment (RCT), which involves removing the nerves and blood vessels from the pulp of that tooth, to render it dead but leave it in your mouth for aesthetic reasons and biting purposes or Extraction.

      Doing an RCT will make the tooth even darker, but you will then have to do place a crown on the tooth, that will be of the same shade as your other normal teeth.

      If you extract the tooth, you may need to do a replacement, removable or fixed seeing that the tooth is in the front.

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    1. I cannot really say, but I’m sure if you mention it to any dentist in Abuja, they’ll know how to help you with it.

      If they also use labs in Lagos, then it means you might have to pay more for it.

      Like

  14. Hello
    Your post was helpful and I must admit enlightening. Please how much would it cost to have braces fixed for me? Lost a front tooth for some years now and I seem to have some gaps in the frontat dentures.
    Thank you

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    1. Braces are used to correct or rearrange improperly set teeth. If you lost a tooth it’s best to replace it.

      The competitive rate for doing braces now though is about $5,000, which you pay over a period of about 18 months.

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  15. Hi Mr Kovach, I just bumped into your page as I kinda had an embarrassing experience a few days ago…. I was working when my artificial denture fell from my mouth, (I guess I was absent mindedly playing with it) so I’ve been browsing as I hardly have time to move around, how much does the flexible denture cost now and implant?

    What’s the installmental payment like?

    I await and appreciate your asap response.

    Regards

    Like

    1. The flexible denture will cost you ₦48,000 for one tooth, while an implant will cost you about ₦400,000.

      It takes about 3 weeks for your flexible denture to be ready, so you may pay a substantial part of the cost on your first visit, then pay the balance when you come to collect it.

      The implant takes between 2-4 months to complete, so again you pay something substantial on your first visit, then split the remainder over three visits, till you complete the procedure.

      Like

    1. Go to:
      RICHMOND DENTAL CLINIC,
      26 MAITAMA SULE STREET,
      IKOYI,
      OFF AWOLOWO ROAD, IKOYI,
      LAGOS.

      If you tell them you read about it here, you’ll get ACRYLIC DENTURE at a discount.

      Like

      1. Cant i get a number please? I am so tied down with work, i wont be able to go there for now. Thank you

        Like

    1. The going rate is such that the first tooth will cost you N48,000, while extra tooth is N10,000. So if you have two teeth to replace it will cost you N58,000 for instance.

      Like

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