If you have missing teeth, or just a single missing tooth, and are wondering what your options are then this article has been written exclusively for you to help you understand what you can do in this situation.
If you have missing teeth when you principally have four options open to you:
- Do nothing and leave the gap.
- Replace the missing tooth/teeth with a denture.
- Replace the missing tooth/teeth with a bridge.
- Replace the missing tooth/teeth with a dental implant.
Let’s look at each of these options in turn.
Do nothing and leave the gap.
When not going to spend too much time discussing this as we have spoken about leaving gaps in a previous blog post. However, to summarise, leaving gaps between teeth tends to encourage the teeth either side and on the opposing jaw to over erupt, tip and drift into the space. In the long run this can affect your bite and perhaps cause jaw joint or headache problems.
You can read our previous blog post on this subject here.
Replace the missing tooth/teeth with a denture.
Replacing missing tooth with a denture can be a really good option. Many people don’t like dentures due to the fact that they can be removed but good-quality, modern dentures can look exceptionally lifelike and be almost indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
Dentures tend to be the cheapest way to replace missing teeth which makes them the favoured option for many people.
Replacing missing teeth/tooth with a dental bridge.
This is a permanent way to replace missing teeth and has been used for many years with a great deal of success. In essence, a dental bridge normally requires the reduction of teeth either side of the gap, this reduction is so that we can provide a support for the new tooth in the middle. This is one of the biggest disadvantages to a dental bridge, if the teeth either side of the gap are healthy your dentist will need to reduce these teeth thereby removing healthy tooth structure.
Modern dentistry is all about being minimally invasive and preserving as much tooth is possible with the smallest amount of treatment, therefore sometimes, a dental bridge can seem rather destructive to the adjacent teeth.
One of the other problems of a dental bridge is that the gum area, where the tooth has been removed, is not supported. Naturally and overtime this will shrink, clearly, the dental bridge will not change shape and so often a space forms underneath where the false tooth is.
Depending on how the bridges made, and whether it can be removed or not, this gap can sometimes be filled however it may necessitate manufacture of an entirely new bridge, which can be an expensive process.
Replacing missing teeth with the dental implant.
This is the final option and is often the preferred choice for many dentists. A dental implant replaces the missing tooth and does not require adjustment of the adjacent teeth as in the production of a dental bridge.
This means an implant is far more conservative to the surrounding dentition and fits with our ethos of minimally invasive dentistry.
Another huge advantage of a dental implant is that it supports the gum and bone where the tooth has been removed. With a dental bridge, as this gum and bone moves, Can open up underneath the new false tooth. The dental implant, because the implant itself supports the bone, this is far less likely to happen. This results in a dental implant looking better for longer.
The initial outlay for a dental implant may seem higher, and indeed it often is. However one needs to consider the benefits of this cost:
- A dental implant could last the rest of your life. If you bought a car for £2500 how long will it last? Your dental implant, which is used 24 hours a day could last the rest of your life making it a much more valuable investment.
- A dental implant will support the bone and gum where your tooth has been removed. This means you are far less likely to have to replace a dental bridge in years to come.
- A dental implant is a permanent replacement. A denture, whilst being lower-priced is removable and does not support the bone and gum like a dental implant does.
Replacing missing teeth summary.
Modern dentistry is about providing the best dental treatment which lasts the longest amount of time and is the best value. Value isn’t always determined by the lowest price, rather, it is by the benefits you gain from that price and how long that treatment could last. In our opinion this means dental implants are one of the best value ways of replacing missing teeth.
Whitestar Dental Practice are a local clinic offering replacement of missing teeth treatments to the local people of Harrow Weald, Kenton and Stanmore. They offer a free consultation to any patient wanting this kind of treatment, please call today for more information.