Replace Missing Teeth
You can lose your natural teeth due to a number of reasons, from gum disease to physical injury. And since your teeth function to help you speak, chew, and even smile, having missing teeth can impact your quality of life and confidence.
Fortunately, Phoenix Road Dental Surgery in Spearwood offers a number of solutions for replacing missing teeth. Whether you choose to replace them with dental bridges or a partial denture, we can help you get your smile back. Our dedicated dentists have years of experience using the best methods and equipment to replace missing teeth, all while providing exceptional care to ensure you are comfortable during your tooth replacement procedure.
Want to know more about what you can do about your missing tooth/teeth? Below are all the common options.
Dentures are one of the most popular teeth replacement options as they are low-cost and do not require tooth replacement surgery. They come in two types; full and partial dentures.
Full dentures, also known as complete dentures contain an entire set of false teeth meant for patients who have lost all of their natural teeth. Partial dentures, on the other hand, contain any number of prosthetic teeth that can fill gaps by attaching to the remaining teeth in your mouth.
Most removable partial dentures need to be supported by your remaining teeth to stay in place. To help your natural teeth support your partial denture, your friendly Spearwood dentist will need to do a thorough check-up of your teeth and gums. We may also need to perform X-ray examinations so we can design a removable partial denture to perfectly fit in between your existing teeth.
Advantages of dentures:
- Full and partial dentures can be customised to a patient’s mouth.
- They can be easily removed and cleaned.
- They are affordable.
- They are a great way to replace one or more missing teeth if you do not want to commit to permanent replacement options such as a dental implant
Disadvantages of dentures:
- Some patients may need some time to get used to wearing full and removable partial dentures.
- Dentures can move around when eating or talking.
- Dentures can break over time and may require repairs or replacement.
Dental bridges are another common tooth replacement solution. A dental bridge is similar to a partial denture, except that it is permanent and non-removable. A dental bridge contains one or more prosthetic teeth known as pontics which cover a gap by attaching to the existing teeth in your mouth.
When our Spearwood dentist fixes a dental bridge, we will remove the enamel layer on the adjacent teeth to prepare them for crowns. Then, we will cement the crowns of the bridge to the natural teeth on either side, and your teeth will be as good as new. This is a great option if the jawbone is not suitable for a dental implant. However, having crowns on adjacent teeth puts extra pressure on them and may feel uncomfortable at least until you get used to it.
Advantages of dental bridges:
- They can be applied even if there is bone loss in the patient’s jaws.
- Bridges can be used to suit any patients’ needs, whether it be to replace a single tooth or multiple missing teeth.
- They are a long term solution to replacing missing teeth, being able to last more than 15 years.
Disadvantages of dental bridges:
- They depend on the strength of the adjacent natural teeth.
- Since bridges are attached to the existing natural teeth using crowns, each adjacent single tooth needs to have its enamel removed and be permanently crowned.
A dental implant involves affixing one or more screws directly into the jaw bone and then attaching prosthetic teeth to the screws to replace missing teeth. Your dentist may use dental implants with crowns, bridges, and even a full set of dentures as a permanent solution to replace your missing teeth.
Getting dental implants is one of the best tooth replacement options if the jaw bone is suitable. A dental implant is typically made of strong biocompatible material so it can be inserted into the jawbone to replace the missing natural tooth. Since the dental implant is made to be biocompatible with human bone, it can bond very strongly with the bone, making it very stable.
To determine if you can get dental implants for your missing tooth, your dentist may need to check whether there is enough bone mass in your jaw and if there is enough space for the implant. After your dentist has inserted a dental implant into your jaw, it may take anywhere from 4 months to over a year to completely heal. Finally, a crown, denture, or dental bridge is screwed or cemented onto it, replacing your missing tooth/teeth.
Although your gums need a long time to heal, the dental implants will feel just like natural teeth after the healing period. Since dental implants do not need to be attached to adjacent teeth, they are more comfortable and provide the best chewing function compared to other replacement options.
Advantages of dental implants:
- Dental implants do not affect any adjacent natural tooth.
- They may be combined with other treatment methods including bridges and permanent dentures.
- They are very secure, meaning the risk of the implants getting dislodged is very low.
- Since an implant is attached to the jaw bone, it can help prevent bone loss.
- They are widely considered the best solution for missing teeth.
- They can often last for life.
Disadvantages of dental implants:
- They are the most expensive option.
- You may need to endure a long recovery time before the prosthetic teeth can be affixed to your implant.
- Fewer people are suitable to receive implants.
The last option is, of course, to just leave the gap as it is. Some patients may be tempted to not replace their missing tooth, especially if it’s just a single tooth at the back of the mouth. However, even one missing tooth may cause issues both cosmetic and health-related if left untreated:
- When you lose your natural tooth and leave it untreated, opposing and adjacent teeth can move which affects your bite and smile.
- Without natural teeth attached to your jaw, the bone in your gums will get resorbed by your body resulting in bone loss in your gums. When you do decide to replace your missing teeth in the future, the reduced jaw bone mass may not be enough to support a new tooth which leads to a more costly procedure.
- Your teeth, especially your molars help you to chew food. If you are missing molars on either side of your mouth, you may not be able to chew your food as well as before, which can lead to indigestion.
- With a gap in your mouth, there is more space for bacteria to grow, which causes gum disease.
We recommend that you see your dentist immediately if you have a missing tooth. At Phoenix Road Dental, we can recommend the best course of treatment to either save your teeth or replace them.
With the number of tooth replacement methods available, we understand it may be overwhelming to decide on one that suits your needs. That’s why we are here in Spearwood to address your concerns and help you pick the right solution.