If you are only missing one tooth, you have options for filling the gap. For example, you can get a partial denture to replace it.
Dentures are prosthetic teeth that will replace your missing natural teeth. Some people get dentures for many missing teeth, while others get dentures for just one to a few missing teeth.
There are various types of dentures, many of which are long-term options. Understanding your options can help you know what’s best for you. After all, some dentures are removable, while others are permanent.
Your general dentist or prosthodontist can talk to you about the best dentures for your oral health needs. But, for starters, here are three different types of dentures you should know about:
If you’ve had dental surgery, your dentist may also give you immediate dentures for missing teeth as a temporary solution until your gums heal.
Single tooth dentures are dentures that are made to replace just one missing tooth. Dentists will typically use partial dentures or overdentures to replace a single tooth. Again, full dentures are not necessary in this case.
Sometimes people will get temporary single tooth dentures called flippers. They are not as durable and stable as a permanent single tooth denture, but can help replace a tooth until a lab-based one is ready.
There are generally two types of single tooth dentures: partial dentures and overdentures (or dental implants).
A removable partial denture may be the best option for some patients. Meanwhile, a dental implant may be the most ideal tooth replacement option for others.
Both options are great solutions. Depending on your needs and oral health, one might be better than the other.7
If you prefer a removable option, partial dentures may be for you. However, if your adjacent teeth aren’t healthy enough to support the partial denture, you may need to go with an implant.
As with anything, there are pros and cons to single tooth dentures to replace tooth loss. It’s important to talk with your dentist about the best option for you, as well as to regularly go for checkups.
The advantages to single tooth dentures are aplenty. Here are a few reasons why you may want to invest in single tooth dentures:
The disadvantages to single tooth dentures include, but are not limited to, the following:
While they both fix the same problem, a single tooth implant and a single tooth denture are not the same. An implant, for example, is a permanent solution that is screwed into your jawbone.
The dentist will use a titanium post that acts as an artificial tooth root.2 They surgically implant it into the jawbone, just below the gums. Then, the bone grows over it and, ultimately, stabilizes it in place. From there, the dentist will attach a prosthetic, called an abutment.
A few months down the line, a porcelain crown (which is the replacement tooth) will be screwed or cemented onto the abutment.
Partial dentures are a little different because they hook onto remaining healthy teeth.2 They have a base that keeps the fake tooth in place and that blends in with your gums. But the back has wings that attach to the adjacent teeth to stay in place.
Without insurance, a full set of dentures can cost upwards of $4,000. While a single tooth denture will only be a fraction of that, other costs add up. For example, additional fees may include examinations (about $100), X-rays (about $150), and tooth removals (about $75 to $200).
The type of single tooth denture you choose also affects the cost. Dental implants tend to be more expensive than partial dentures. This is because they involve surgery and a lot more work. They are also permanent solutions, whereas partial dentures may be removable.
Talk to your dentist about the cost of your options and weigh what is best for your health and your wallet.
Yes, some dental insurance plans do cover dentures.2 It is important to reach out to your provider to see if your plan will cover your single tooth denture. Insurance can help to shave off some or all of the cost, making dentures much more affordable.
At the end of the day, dentures may be a good idea, whatever the cost. If you can afford them, with or without insurance, dentures can help complete your smile and bring back your confidence.
(1) “Denture Care.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Nov. 2017.
(2) “Does Dental Insurance Cover Dentures?” Guardian Direct.
(3) “How Much Do Dentures Really Cost Without Insurance?” Cigna Discount Dental Plans, 29 Jan. 2019.
(4) I;, Nakazawa. “A Clinical Survey of Removable Partial Dentures. --Analysis of Follow-up Examinations over a Sixteen-Year Period--.” The Bulletin of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
(5) P;, Rousseau. “Flapless and Traditional Dental Implant Surgery: an Open, Retrospective Comparative Study.” Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery : Official Journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
(6) Publishing, Harvard Health. “Big Advances for Dental Implants.” Harvard Health.
(7) Publishing, Harvard Health. “Two Options for Replacing Lost Teeth.” Harvard Health.