Missing teeth can not only change the appearance of your smile but can also impact the alignment of your teeth. Missing teeth can be a result of many different reasons such as injury, tooth decay and gum disease. However, missing teeth or even a single missing tooth not only can affect one’s appearance and confidence, but it can also cause several oral health problems if not replaced. When teeth are missing or a tooth, empty spaces can cause shifting of your surrounding teeth into the spaces which causes misalignment. Aside from negatively impacting the alignment of your bite, missing teeth can affect your speech, the integrity of your jawbone as teeth help create support for your cheeks and lips and can affect the ability to chew your food properly and stopping you from enjoying your favourite foods. Unfortunately, teeth do not last our entire lifetime, most people are likely to experience missing teeth in their lifetime and sometimes the value of your teeth is not realized until they are lost. With today’s innovative technology and The Smile Designer Dental Studio being at the forefront of investing in state-of-the-art technology we offer all options for you, depending on your specific needs, number of missing teeth, lifestyle, and budget. In this blog, we have outlined three options for replacing your missing teeth.
1. Dental Implants
Dental implants often sound like a daunting and intimidating procedure although this procedure is one of the gold standards for replacing missing teeth by dentists. This is due to the fact that Dental Implants serve the same purpose as your natural teeth. They function as your natural teeth would, this way they help preserve the bones and gum, support surrounding teeth and bite alignment. When an implant is inserted your body will go through a process known as osseointegration, which is where your body will begin to form a direct structural and functional connection between the bone in the surrounding area, therefore, preventing any further deterioration of surrounding bone and preserving your jaw structure. The crown placed on top of the implant is indistinguishable from your real tooth, therefore creating a seamless finish to your smile.
Although dental implants are permanent for replacing missing teeth, they are also the most expensive option, but if compared to its longevity where any given dental implant can last up to 40 years then dental implants often seem to be an appealing option to many. If missing teeth are left for too long, then the integrity of your jawbone will be further compromised as it is harder to place dental implants when the bone has significantly deteriorated. In such situations, a bone graft is needed to create volume to support the implant if there is not sufficient bone. Dental Implants is a process that involves multiple dental visits, and time is needed to allow for the healing of gum and bones.
2. Fixed Dental Bridge
Dental bridges can be used to replace between one and six missing teeth. Dental bridges can be used to fill gaps in your smile given that you have natural teeth on both sides. Dental bridges come in two components. The false tooth is known as the pontic and the supporting teeth are known and the abutments. The pontic is held in place by the abutment teeth on either side of the gap. This allows fixed dental bridges to replace a single tooth or multiple missing teeth that are adjacent. Therefore, to fill a gap with a dental bridge the adjacent teeth need to be strong and have adequate bone density.
Dental bridges are usually made from Porcelain as they aesthetically blend in well with your own natural teeth. However, they can also be made from materials such as gold or zirconia.
Our dentist at The Smile Designer will prepare your supporting teeth. This is done by recontouring the teeth and trimming the enamel back as this will allow for room for the crown to be placed. Impressions of your teeth are poured up and sent to the lab where the crown, poetic and bridge will be made from this model. In the meantime, you will receive a temporary bridge as this will help protect any exposed gums and teeth and will help from any sensitivity. Once your bridge is ready to be inserted, your temporary bridge will be removed at the second visit once it returns from the lab. At this visit, the bridge is cemented into place ensuring any necessary adjustments are made to achieve a seamless fit. Fixed Dental bridges are exactly that, they are fixed! Whilst they are very convenient options in that you do not need to be removed for cleaning and maintenance, it is important to practice good oral hygiene. If cavities, infections, or gum diseases develop on either side of the supporting teeth then you may run the risk of losing the entire bridge. The lifespan of dental bridges varies and depending on the care, may need replacing every 5-15 years.
3. Removable Partial or Full Dentures
Dentures are a removable option. They can be used for replacing a single tooth, a few teeth, or even a complete arch of the mouth. Dentures are made up of false teeth that are attached to a gum-coloured plastic base with a metal framework that holds the denture in place in your mouth. There are two types of dentures, partial and full dentures. Partial dentures are used to replace a single or a row of teeth even if they are not in the same region of the arch. Whereas a full denture is required to restore a complete arch of teeth. Full and partial dentures are both custom-fitted to your mouth, therefore aesthetically they will compliment your existing smile. As dentures are removable and need to be removed before bedtime, frequent handling makes dentures more prone to damage. Over time your gums also change shape, therefore dentures may not fit well and sit right in your mouth. So, although dentures are an affordable option for replacing missing teeth, they will require more frequent replacement than previously stated options. Typically, dentures only last between 5-8 years and usually need to be replaced as overtime.
At The Smile Designer, we provide all options for replacing a missing tooth or missing teeth. If you would like to understand which option is best for you book in for a free implant consultation or free smile makeover consultation to discuss which treatment plan is right for you.