It’s always upsetting losing a tooth, especially when you look after them.
Even with the best intentions you can end up losing a tooth due to an accident or a large filling breaking. So what are your options?
It’s ok if I don’t replace the tooth, right?
It very much depends as to which tooth it is. It is generally recommended that any teeth up to the first molar or ‘double’ teeth are replaced in order to maintain your chewing power. In addition to maintaing function, without a tooth in place the adjacent teeth can start to move and cause problems long term. You may find, given time that you end up with bite problems as your teeth shift or poor cosmetics as your teeth start to move. At this point we can still help but it is more difficult to get the final result.
It is much easier and predictable to replace the tooth sooner rather than later
When you lose a tooth, the amount of force transmitted to your own teeth goes up and it can be the start of a slippery slope towards plastic dentures
So what are my options for replacing a tooth?
If you decide you want to have your tooth replaced you have one of three options.
1. Dentures – This will help fill in the gap but will not restore the same function your natural tooth had, it does not maintain your bone and makes it difficult to clean around neighbouring teeth. If you only have one tooth missing then it’s a lot of plastic in your mouth to replace a single tooth and if you have multiple teeth missing then the dentures become more problematic.
When you have none of your natural teeth, studies have shown you are 92% likely to have problems of some kind or another with your dentures and these can be anything from speech problems, limiting what you can eat to only soft foods, not being able to wear them at all or your dentures falling out whilst you speak. these problems are not due to a poor set of dentures, rather the fact that dentures are a replacement for no teeth, NOT a replacement for teeth. The amount of problems and severity of problems increases over time
The good thing about dentures is that they are less of an investment than a permanent solution
2. Bridges – Bridges are a fixed solution to replacing a missing tooth and rely on preparing the adjacent teeth. One your bridge is bonded into place, it should feel and look natural
Bridges do cause damage to your adjacent teeth and not all spaces are suitable for bridges. You do run the risk that you will increase your problems long term as the supporting teeth may abscess, become decayed or break. Bridges do have their place but must be constructed with extreme precision and have an average life span of 10 years or so with around 1/4 only lasting 3 years or less
3. Dental implants – Dental implants have been around for decades and the science behind them is simply superb. When placed correctly they are the closest replacement to your natural teeth. Dental implants maintain your existing bone levels and do not damage your neighbouring teeth. When planned well and placed soon after you have had a tooth taken out, implant placement is usually very straight forward.
Dental implants have a higher initial investment level but are one of the most cost effective ways to replace your teeth long term and can replace anywhere from one tooth to all of your teeth. When you have all of your teeth missing, you do not need one implant per missing tooth as often we can construct a beautiful bridge on a few implants. This means you can have permanently retained teeth which give back full function and stunning cosmetics.
Many people are anxious about implants and it is for this reason we can offer sedation to make the procedure comfortable for you
There is always a decision to make and you can rest assured we are here to support you in all of your decisions and discuss and concerns you may have
To arrange a free consultation with our treatment coordinator, call us on 01302 325678