Missing Teeth

If you have a missing tooth or gap there are a number of ways of addressing this. It is of course possible to leave a gap. The advantage is that no treatment is required. However you may feel it is unsightly. Also problems can occur because of drifting and over eruption of the remaining teeth.

Dentures

A denture can be used, this is particularly useful if more than one gap is present as it simplifies treatment. Dentures are a removable tooth or teeth. Dentures are useful if teeth have recently been removed, as they can be altered more easily as the mouth changes, and have a lower cost than alternatives. Disadvantages are that they can move, need to be taken out to allow the mouth to rest, make it more likely that food and plaque are trapped around remaining teeth increasing the risk of future gum disease and tooth decay. They are available in a number or types.

Acrylic dentures have a gum coloured plastic base. They are more likely to move during use and are relatively bulky.

Metal dentures have a silver metal base and clasps. This means they are more secure and less bulky. They have gum coloured plastic and natural looking teeth added. They are normally better tolerated by patients. They do depend on having sufficient remaining teeth to support them.

Flexible dentures, are dentures made with a flexible gum coloured plastic. This allows them to slide more easily over remaining teeth, and are more comfortable to chew with.
Your dentist can advise which ones may be suitable for you.

Bridges

Bridges can be used. These are fixed teeth. Advantages are that they do not have to be removed. Disadvantages are that adhesive ones can be dislodged, and conventional ones require a substantial amount of tooth tissue to be removed from adjacent teeth. .

Adhesive Bridges are a false tooth stuck by a metal “wing” to a tooth at the side of the gap. They are particularly suitable for a single missing tooth, and where forces on biting are not too strong. Advantages are that no, or little preparation of the adjacent tooth is required so maintains its health. Disadvantage is that in some cases bond is not strong enough, and an alternative treatment may be needed.
Fixed or Conventional Bridge. Advantage is that they are much more robust. Disadvantage is that one or both adjacent teeth will need a lot of preparation to allow construction.

Implant(s)

Implants are titanium screws which are used to replace the roots of the missing tooth or teeth. They can then be used to have a crown, bridge or denture on top to fill the gap. Advantage is that they are very predictable, and no harm occurs to remaining teeth and gums. Disadvantage is that it takes time for treatment, and as a complex treatment initial costs are higher.

Missing Teeth can cause movement

Remaining teeth can drift into the gap, and opposing teeth can "over erupt" into the space.

Missing Front Teeth Options

You could have a false tooth made and fitted to a plate. Alternatively a Bridge can be fitted to an adjacent tooth. Or you could have an Implant which doesn't affect the adjacent teeth.

Missing Back Teeth Options

You could have a false tooth made and fitted to a plate. Alternatively a Bridge can be fitted to the adjacent teeth. Or an Implant may be the best solution.

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