REPLACING MISSING TEETH
The best thing is to keep your natural teeth forever. Through good oral hygiene habits, regular dental visits and modern prevention methods it is possible to keep from choosing whether to remove or repair a tooth. However, sometimes throughout life due to accidents, dental decay or gum disease this is unavoidable.
Replacing natural teeth is never easy however, there are options to fill the gaps:
Dental Implants are generally the best way to replace missing teeth because they:
- Maintain the integrity of bone structure after tooth loss
- Preserve the health of adjacent teeth, since there is no need for bridgework
- Function and feel like natural teeth
- Improve speaking ability when bulky dentures are eliminated
- Improve facial appearance by preventing bone loss
- Distribute bite forces evenly throughout the mouth
- Can be used to replace loose-fitting dentures
Dental Bridges are an alternative method to replace missing teeth. Often these are only recommended if you are not a suitable candidate for implants. They are permanently anchored to the teeth neighbouring the gaps and so are only appropriate to replace gaps where there is only one missing tooth.
It is important to consider the following points when considering a bridge:
- There is extra load on the neighbouring teeth when choosing a bridge to replace a missing tooth.
- The neighbouring teeth are required to be prepped in order to fit the bridge and therefore results in the reduction of natural tooth structure compromising the integrity of these teeth.
- As the bridge is anchored to the neighbouring teeth it is more difficult to clean and floss in the area.
As mentioned the most preferable option to replace missing teeth is Implants however, as this is not always feasible due to the condition of the mouth, general health, lifestyle habits or age dentures are available to fill multiple missing teeth.
Dentures are the most traditional remedy to replace missing teeth. They are removable and held in place by remaining teeth or if there are no remaining teeth they are held in place by the gum tissue. As you can imagine Dentures are the most ill fitting of the three options as they loosen over time however, they do serve as a very good option when mounted to anchoring Implants or as an interim measure.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO REPLACE MISSING TEETH?
- Eating – difficulty chewing properly
- Appearance – The existing teeth can shift and drift affecting the appearance as well as function and ability to clean the remaining teeth. The bone also shrinks which can change the appearance of your face.
- Overuse – Uneven load bearing placing stress on the remaining teeth which is likely to cause wear and breakages.