Missing Tooth? What Replacement Options Do You Have
Unfortunately there comes a time for most people when the dentist will say that a tooth can no longer be restored or repaired and therefore needs to be extracted. Now comes that feeling of panic not only about the tooth being removed but also what will people think when they see the gap when you talk, laugh and smile.
Fret not, we look at the possible options to replace a missing tooth and restore your confidence in your smile.
Leave the gap
If the tooth to be extracted is at the back of your mouth it may not be visible when you talk and smile. If this is the case it may be possible to leave the gap as you will be the only one o know that the tooth is no longer there. The dentist will monitor the gap at your routine appointments to ensure that the teeth either side of the space do not twist or move into the missing tooth’s place as this can affect your bite and cause problems in the long term.
A bridge is created by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and joining them together will a false tooth or teeth to fill the gap. Bridges are normally made by a dental technician in the laboratory and are made using a ceramic material that can be closely matched to the natural colour of your teeth. Once in place the bridge should be indistinguishable from the natural teeth around it. A bridge would normally be expected to last for around 5-10 years. In order to make a bridge it is necessary to prepare healthy teeth on either side of the gap for the crowns. This means that if one of the teeth fails, becomes decayed or chipped the whole bridge will fail. It is unlikely that another bridge will be able to be created if this happens.
Dentures can be used to fill one or several gaps caused by missing teeth. Dentures are made using either a chrome (metal) or acrylic (plastic) base onto which the teeth are added. Dentures have the added advantage that they can be fitted immediately following an extraction so there will be no need to be seen with a gap in public and teeth can be added to the denture following any further extractions. Over time as the gum heals following an extraction, it may shrink meaning the denture no longer sits comfortable. Your dentures may therefore need to be relined or remade once the gum is fully healed to ensure a good fit.
Dental Implants are currently the closest possible restoration to replacing your natural teeth. Implants are made by inserting a titanium screw into the jaw bone and this is then used to support a crown, bridge or denture depending on the number of spaces to be filled.Dental Implants can be a cost effective treatment as if they are cared for properly they should last as long as your existing teeth. Prior to any treatment the dentist will perform a full assessment of your jaw bone. If the bone is not healthy enough or there is not enough bone present it may be necessary for a bone graft to be performed prior to starting any implant treatment.
No matter why your teeth had to be extracted there is a solution to ensure that the remaining gap does not show, allowing you to talk, smile and laugh with confidence. Call your dentist today and book an appointment to start your journey to a gap free smile!
At College Dental Surgeries our experienced dentists will give you all the options available after assessing your oral health and explain the benefits of each to help you make an informed choice.
If you would like more information on any of the treatments mentions above call College Dental Surgeries on 01622 752340