No matter how well you look after your teeth, there may come a point where it is no longer possible to restore a broken or damaged tooth. No one wants to be left with a gap which can affect your confidence and self-esteem so here we look at the potential options to fill a space left by an extracted tooth.
- Leave it
If it is a back tooth, not visible when you talk and smile and doesn’t affect your ability to chew, it may be possible to leave the gap. The dentist will monitor the gap at each routine visit as there is the possibility that the remaining teeth on either side of the gap may move and twist into the remaining space and this can affect and change your bite. It is also possible that the gap may provide an area for food to become trapped and if left this can provide a breeding ground for bacteria which in the long term can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
A denture can fill the gaps caused by one or more missing teeth. They can be made of chrome (metal) or acrylic (plastic) and are made by a laboratory technician for impressions taken of your mouth. They are custom made and no two sets of dentures will ever be the same.
Dentures can be fitted immediately after a tooth is extracted which means that you will not need to worry about a gap being visible. However as the socket heals the gum below the denture will shrink and this will mean that the denture will need relining or remaking at a later date to ensure that it continues to fit comfortably.
- Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is created by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of a gap and joining them together with false teeth. The bridge will be made from a ceramic material that will closely match the natural colour of your teeth. In order to create the bridge the teeth either side of the gap need to be healthy enough to support the false teeth. Bridges are normally expected to have a lifespan of 5-10 years.
- Dental Implant
Dental implants are a reliable and trusted way to fill a gap caused by a missing tooth. A titanium screw is placed into your jaw and this provides the base for either a crown, bridge or denture, so dental implants can be used to replace one or several missing teeth.
Once the titanium screw is inserted you will need to wait for 3-4 months for the bone to heal around the screw before the restoration can be put on top. If cared for properly a dental implant should last for at least 10 years.
Want to get rid of an unsightly gap? Call College Dental Surgeries on 01622 752340 and book a consultation today.