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Missing teeth

MISSING TEETH – WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THEM?

Sometimes unfortunate things can happen and this may result in you losing your teeth in an accident or needing them to be removed. Most people will consider replacement of missing teeth to improve their appearance, but it will also improve your speaking and chewing, and thus enable you to enjoy all variety of foods and drinks.

For some people, replacing missing teeth can be quite daunting, and most people will take a little while to process through the steps; however, we’ve got you covered with a summary of your options below.

missing teeth

Dental Implants

Implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement and are the next-best thing to your natural teeth. A dental implant is a titanium screw that is placed into your jaw. After it integrates with the surrounding bone, a crown is then fixed into the implant to replace the missing teeth.

Additionally, in severe cases of multiple missing teeth, implants can be used in patients with dentures to help loose dentures stay “locked” in the mouth, creating a stable and comfortable environment.

The Pros of Dental Implants:

  • bullet Natural looking
  • bullet High success rates in healthy patients
  • bullet Same maintenance as your natural teeth – you can brush and floss like normal
  • bullet Stable and comfortable, as well as strong and functional
  • bullet Doesn’t require removing tooth structure from adjacent teeth

 
The Cons of Dental Implants:

  • bullet Requires pre-planning and multiple appointments
  • bullet Requires minor surgery
  • bullet The success rate is lower in patients with particular medical histories (bisphosphonate usage, diabetes, current smoker, etc.) and poor gum health and hygiene
  • bullet Has minimum requirements for the amount of bone and proximity to nearby teeth and other important structures, that may require additional procedures to correct
missing teeth
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Bridges

In cases of single-tooth replacements, bridges are considered the second-best solution. A bridge is when the two teeth on either side of a space receive crowns, and then a fake tooth, or “pontic,” is added in between to fill the space.

The Pros of Dental Bridges:

  • bullet Fixed—not taking it in and out means better function than a removable denture
  • bullet Natural looking
  • bullet Faster than implants
  • bullet Less stringent anatomical requirements
  • bullet Less dependent on patient’s health history and can be done at any age

 
The Cons of Dental Bridges:

  • bullet Must have adjacent teeth on either side of the space
  • bullet Have to crown adjacent teeth
  • bullet Harder to maintain/keep clean under the bridge, which could lead to recurrent decay
  • bullet Natural bone loss under the bridge can lead to gaps between the gums and bridge leading to food packing

Removable Partial Dentures

These days, partial dentures, which are removable appliances, are ideally the last option for tooth replacement. Partial dentures come in different shapes and materials.

Pros of Removable Partial Dentures:

  • bullet Cheapest
  • bullet Don’t require surgery
  • bullet Rarely require more than minor alterations to existing teeth

 
Cons of Removable Partial Dentures:

  • bullet Less aesthetic – plastic teeth will never match natural teeth well
  • bullet Less stable – can fall out or dislodge whilst eating or talking
  • bullet Less functional – may not be able to eat harder foods
  • bullet Bulky and can be less comfortable
  • bullet Must be removed and cleaned daily