Why replace missing teeth?

missing teeth

Why do we lose teeth?

There are lots of reasons why teeth either need to be removed or simply fall out. These can include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Advancing gum disease
  • Accidents
  • Inherited or congenital conditions
  • Advanced wear and tear due to ageing
  • Effect of serious infection (including failing root canal treatment)

Why replace missing teeth?

When a tooth is lost the jawbone beneath it begins to shrink and become brittle. This shrinkage is due to a lack of stimulation from the missing tooth – in a similar way to how muscle withers through lack of use. Teeth adjacent to the space created by the lost tooth will then tilt and drift leading to unevenness in your bite and the overall appearance of your smile. Over time this shrinkage can lead to a huge change in facial appearance and the face can collapse through this lack of support. These changes can not only affect your day-to-day ability to chew properly and therefore your diet and nutrition, but may leave people feeling unhappy and self-conscious about their mouth and smile.

What are my options for replacing missing teeth?

For people who have NO remaining teeth the alternatives are:

  • Removable Dentures
  • Implants which secure your Dentures in place
  • Implants which support Crowns and Bridges

For people who have SOME of their own teeth the alternatives are:

  • Crowns and Bridges supported by Implants and/or teeth
  • Partial Dentures secured by Implants and/or teeth
  • Partial Dentures supported by teeth
  • Bridges supported by teeth

What are the strengths and weaknesses of my options?

Removable Dentures

Removable Dentures use acrylic teeth to fill the spaces. Although relatively inexpensive, this removable option often requires sticky adhesives and can be insecure and uncomfortable. They can also contribute to tooth decay, gum disease and accelerate shrinkage of remaining bone and gum.

Adhesive Bridges

These use metal wings adhered to the back of teeth adjacent to gaps, therefore tooth cutting is minimal or not required. Unfortunately they can become loose so are often regarded as a temporary solution.

Conventional or Porcelain Bonded Bridges

This traditional replacement for missing teeth involves the grinding down of healthy teeth either side of the gap so that Crowns supporting the Bridge can be cemented on to them. Over time the Crowns supporting the Bridge can become loose and lead to decay.

Dental Implants

Dental Implants support the bone and gum and are not attached to adjacent teeth in any way. They create strong, permanent natural-looking teeth to stop bone loss, preserve healthy teeth and help to restore your smile for a more youthful appearance. Dental Implants can be used to replace single teeth or many teeth, including full mouth replacement. They can also be used in conjunction with regenerative techniques such as bone grafting.