Bridge the Gap!
Restoring Function and Appearance
At some point or another it is highly likely you will lose a tooth, either due to infection, decay or trauma. Depending on the area where the tooth is lost, you may wish to replace the tooth.
Its entirely up to you if the tooth is replaced but from a dental point of view, it is highly recommended. When a tooth is missing the teeth either side of the gap will start to turn towards it. Also the tooth above it will start to move as it has nothing to meet against when biting down. Although this does happen over a period of time, it could eventually cause potential dental problems in your mouth. You may also experience difficulty when eating, especially if more than one tooth is missing.
So what options do you have when replacing a tooth? Actually you have a few! Dentistry has come on leaps and bounds in the past 10 years or so, so now there is literally something to suit individual needs.
- Dental Bridge – this can be used to replace more than one missing teeth, as long as the teeth that are missing run consecutively. There are many different types of Bridges available but the once mainly used by dentists relies on having teeth either side of the gap to anchor the bridge on to. Unfortunately this mean having to prepare the teeth ready for the bridge by removing a small amount of tooth structure. This makes space for the bridge to fit. This treatment is usually carried out over 2 appointments due to the bridge being laboratory made. The bridge can be made to match the shade of your existing teeth and can last 15-20 years with the correct care and cleaning. Dental Bridges can also be anchored to Dental Implants.
- Partial Denture – this can be used to replace more than one missing teeth. It can be made from either acrylic or cobalt chromium, and if more teeth are lost then these can be added to the denture easily. Clips can be added to the denture to help it stay in place. These clips clip around your own existing teeth. Unfortunately partial dentures only last about 7 years due to your mouth constantly changing.
- Dental Implants – this treatment can be used to replace more than one missing teeth. A long lasting option, this involves placing a titanium rod into your jaw bone. This is left to heal for about 12 weeks after which a crown is made and attached. Dental Implants can last 20 years or more, providing you take great care with them and clean it thoroughly. Implants are just like your natural teeth and if not properly cleaned Gum Disease can develop around the Implants and they may fail. Smoking also plays a big part in the success of this treatment. It is advised that you do not smoke throughout the whole treatment, as smoking slows the healing process making it highly likely they will fail.
- No treatment – many patients are happy to keep the gap created by a missing tooth. We can only advise you regarding treatment but ultimately the decision is yours.
If you require advice please contact us, Blue Sky Dental on 01245 211070. All our dentists are specialists in their own field and they will give their expert advice and opinion regarding the best treatment for your mouth.