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What Are My Options for Missing Front Teeth?

I won’t get into my embarrassing story about how I lost my two front teeth. What are my options for replacing them? I don’t have a regular dentist, so I want to find out the options before seeing a dentist who might try to take advantage of my situation. Thanks, J.S. from Zanesville, OH

J.S.– Your options for replacing the teeth are a partial denture, a dental bridge, or dental implants.

An implant dentist will evaluate your medical and dental history and complete an oral exam and x-rays before recommending treatment. Your front teeth are involved, so you want a dentist with an artistic approach. We suggest finding an experienced implant dentist who is also a creative cosmetic dentist because they will be well-qualified to perform either procedure.

Options for Replacing Missing Front Teeth

An ocean-side palm tree and hammock, portraying the relaxing effects of sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry relieves anxiety

Options for replacing missing front teeth include a partial denture, a dental bridge, or an implant.

  • Partial denture – It is the least expensive option. A dental lab will embed replacement teeth in a plastic base. The appliance clasps onto adjacent teeth. The clasps will stress your neighboring teeth over time.
  • A dental bridge – A series of connected crowns replace your missing teeth. It requires shaving down the tooth on either side of the missing ones to accommodate the crown. The replacement tooth will be suspended between the two crowns. You can get beautiful crowns crafted to look like your natural teeth from a cosmetic dentist.
  • Dental implant – This option requires no work on your adjacent teeth. An implant dentist or oral surgeon places implant screws in your jawbone. When the jawbone heals around the implants, your dentist will attach crowns. Implants can withstand biting forces, look natural, and can last 15 years or longer.

We recommend scheduling consultations with two cosmetic dentists to get their recommendations and compare your options. Talk to each dentist about your anxiety and ask about sedation options during your visits. Be sure to have the work completed by a cosmetic with advanced implant training or who partners with an oral surgeon. You will get natural-looking results.


Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist and Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, sponsors this post.

Lidocaine Doesn’t Work and My Dental Implant Failed

My upper right first premolar cracked last month. My dentist said he couldn’t save the tooth, so he scheduled an appointment for an extraction and implant. Before and during the extraction, my dentist gave me six lidocaine shote. My palate and tongue burned. My dentist placed an implant right after removing the tooth. When I returned for a checkup the following week, I told the dentist about my burning palate and tongue, so he prescribed a mouth rinse. I had a four-month monthly checkup before my dentist said the bone was ready for my final crown. My mouth burned for all that time despite the mouth rinse. My dentist exposed the implant, and we waited a few more weeks for him to take impressions for my final crown. I thought I would be good to go when the crown arrived, and maybe all the burning could calm down.

I can’t explain the extent of my discomfort when the dentist tried to screw the crown onto the implants. This appointment was another round of six lidocaine shots. Finally, he got the crown on, but my bite felt off. Because of my stress, we scheduled two more appointments to correct my bite. It felt okay but not great before I went on vacation in late July. While on vacation, the crown fell off. I was so embarrassed to go to a dentist in Michigan. I found a competent dentist who has been placing implants for 20 years and is a co-instructor at dental implant classes for other dentists. What a relief. I wish I could go back to Michigan for care. Anyway, that dentist told me to see my local dentist right away. My dentist admitted that the implant failed and that he needed to remove it. I have no implant, just a missing tooth, and a burning tongue and palate. I told my dentist I wanted a refund, and he agreed but asked me to let him redo the work. He said that he now understands what went wrong. Why couldn’t he know before it went wrong? Anyway, I’m going to get a second opinion in two weeks. Any suggestions before my appointment? Thanks. Sandeep from PA



We are sorry you’ve had such stressful dental experiences with the local anesthetic and dental implant failure. We will offer suggestions to help you get needed care.

What If Lidocaine at the Dentist Doesn’t Work?

If lidocaine at the dentist doesn’t work for you, resistance to local anesthesia or high anxiety levels can prevent a dentist from numbing the area. Talk to your dentist about sedation options to help you relax before your appointment. Sedation can also dull your pain sensitivity.

What Can You Do About Dental Implant Failure?

Model of a tooth implant in the gums and bone with natural teeth on either side.
Get a second opinion if you have experienced dental implant failure.

When a dental implant has failed, we recommend getting a second opinion from a skilled implant dentist. Look for a provider with post-graduate training in implantology. The dentist will need a 3D CT scan to help determine the cause of implant failure. Perhaps you need bone grafting to build up your jawbone, allowing it to support a dental implant.

If a dentist forced your temporary crown on the implant, the force may have contributed to dental implant failure. If your dentist continues cooperating, you can request a refund.

Although the cause of burning mouth syndrome is unknown, many incidents relate to dental trauma. When you find a gentle dentist who may use sedation to relax you during your visit, your burning mouth will likely calm down. Otherwise, speak with your new dentist about your concerns.


Rocky Hill, Connecticut, cosmetic dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski sponsors this post.