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Losing a single tooth can be distressing, especially if the tooth is visible in your smile. While there are a few different ways to address a problem like this, one of the best options to consider is using a single-tooth denture to restore your smile.

Though single tooth dentures aren’t a perfect fit for everyone. To understand if one is truly right for you, we’re going to have to go over some important details.

What Are Single Tooth Dentures?

A single-tooth denture is a type of partial denture that consists of a single artificial tooth. It’s designed to lock securely into place with the surrounding teeth and will be carefully crafted to match all the other teeth in your smile.

While a single-tooth denture isn’t as hard as natural tooth enamel, it is still capable of biting off and chewing most foods. A lot of people will apply denture adhesive to the base of a single tooth denture to help lock it in place, as well as prevent stray food particles from infiltrating the gum line.

White background a natural looking lower molar denture

For replacing a missing tooth in your smile, many single-tooth dentures will include additional material that mimics the appearance of natural gum tissue. This includes flexible valplast single-tooth dentures that flex with your mouth and replicate the appearance of the tooth as well as the surrounding gum tissues.

Why Should You Get A Single Tooth Denture?

A single-tooth denture costs less than a dental bridge and a lot less than a dental implant. It also doesn’t require major invasive dental work, bone grafts, or other procedures altering the surrounding teeth.

A single-tooth denture also takes much less time to fully restore your smile than a dental implant. A dental implant typically requires a bone graft and installing an abutment, followed by months of waiting for osseointegration to meld the material into your existing jaw structure.

Whereas many single-tooth denture options can be ready in a matter of weeks. They tend to cost much less than a dental implant while restoring the appearance and function of your missing tooth.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Tooth Dentures

Single-tooth dentures have several advantages that make them a great alternative to having a dental bridge installed or going through a lengthy, invasive dental implant procedure. However, you might not be a perfect candidate for a single-tooth denture. 

Especially if you need a single-tooth denture molar to replace a missing tooth in the back of your mouth or have concerns about maintaining it. Single-tooth dentures typically rely on the teeth in front and behind the void left by the missing tooth to help secure them in place. This makes them a poor option for trying to restore the form and function of a missing rear molar.  

Before deciding on or against a single-tooth denture, you should compare the pros and cons.

Pros Of Single Tooth Dentures

Cons Of Single Tooth Dentures

How Much Do Single Tooth Dentures Cost in the US?

In the United States, the cost of a single tooth denture in the United States can range from $500 to $1,200. Though the average price tends to land around $650. The biggest variable affecting the cost is how much the dentist costs, as well as any other special features that might need to be integrated into the denture to ensure it matches all the other teeth in your smile. 

There are special types of flexible dentures that are more expensive than a standard single-tooth partial denture. 

A single-tooth flipper denture is popular for restoring a tooth that is prevalent in your smile and includes additional gum-like material. A valplast single-tooth denture is made from a special flexible plastic material that adapts to the constant movement of your mouth, providing total comfort.

Does Insurance Cover Dentures?

Most dental insurance plans offer partial coverage for restorative dental work. This usually translates into 50% coverage for a single-tooth denture. Though you’ll want to check with your carrier to get a clear understanding of your coverage options.

Single Tooth Implant vs Single Tooth Denture

A single-tooth dental implant is designed to fully restore a missing tooth anywhere in your mouth. Though it requires a lengthy process where a bone graft is surgically installed into the remaining bone structure in your mouth. A titanium abutment is then inserted into the restored bone tissues.

Over the course of several months, a process known as osseointegration occurs, which naturally fuses the titanium abutment to the bone tissue. This provides an anchor strong enough to secure a dental crown to complete a permanent dental restoration.

A single-tooth denture is a removable dental appliance. It is designed to fit snuggly with your existing oral structure of the void left by the missing tooth and has special hardware connections to secure it to the surrounding teeth. 

It typically only takes a few weeks to have a single-tooth denture crafted in a dental lab. Usually at a fraction of a dental implant’s cost, making it a popular option for short-term dental restorations.

A single-tooth denture doesn’t specifically restore the oral bone structure lost by the missing tooth. In time, this can cause the two surrounding teeth to slightly change their orientation, causing a single tooth denture to fit loosely over time.

When deciding between a single dental implant and a single denture, timing, cost, and overall longevity are the primary factors. If you want to permanently replace a missing tooth in your smile, and you’re willing to wait 6 months to a year, then a dental implant might be the best option for you.

The Alternatives to Single Tooth Dentures

Many people contemplating dental restorations wonder how much a single-tooth denture is compared to a dental bridge or dental implant. When looking at single-tooth denture pictures, you might notice a difference between them and other tooth restoration options.

Restoring a Tooth with a Dental Implant

A dental implant often requires bone graft surgery to restore sufficient oral structure to secure an abutment that will eventually anchor a dental crown. Then, for several months, the bone graft and the abutment fuse to your existing bone structure.

This increases the cost as well as the time it takes to restore the natural appearance of your smile. However, the dental implant will be stronger and tends to last longer than a single-tooth denture.

Restoring a Tooth with a Dental Bridge

Blue background and a dental bridge

A dental bridge is another popular alternative to a single-tooth denture. This particular type of dental work consists of two crowns with an artificial tooth fused between them. A dentist removes the tooth enamel from the two teeth surrounding the missing one. Then the dental bridge is crafted to anchor on the two prepared abutments.

A dental bridge restoration typically only takes two dental appointments and costs much less than a dental implant, though depending on your insurance, it will likely cost more than a single tooth denture.

Final Thoughts

A single-tooth denture is a great option to restore a missing tooth in your smile. Though it’s not the perfect solution for everyone. They only have an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years, at which point they will need to be updated and replaced.

The quick turnaround time and low cost make a single-tooth denture a popular short-term dental restoration option, especially if you have budget concerns.

Denture information for caregivers is available online. This will help you to make an informed choice on whether or not your ward can handle the routine maintenance and cleaning requirements of a single tooth denture versus a dental implant or a dental bridge. If you feel that the person under your care is capable of maintaining a single-tooth denture and weigh it against their potential response to invasive dental implant procedures.

A dental implant requires one or more oral surgeries and can take 6 months to a year to fully restore a tooth in your smile. It’s the most expensive but most permanent option. 

The only other alternative is a dental bridge, which costs less than a dental implant, but more than a single-tooth denture and can restore a missing tooth in about the same amount of time.

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