REPLACING A MISSING TOOTH
Losing a tooth can be the cause of real social and psychological concern, as well as pain and discomfort. Missing teeth may also affect the function and general health of the other teeth, due to resulting tooth movement. The good news is that there are many effective treatments available to replace it. Your dentist is the most qualified professional to help you with this and will be able to determine the most suitable option for you.
THREE COMMON TREATMENTS TO REPLACE MISSING TEETH
Dentures, popularly known as “false teeth”, are removable prosthetic replacements that can fill the space of several missing teeth with natural looking artificial teeth. They are usually made of acrylic or a combination of cobalt-chrome metal and acrylic, and fitted to the specific patient to ensure optimal comfort. Partial dentures are designed to fill the gap created by missing teeth, and are not permanently fixed to the mouth. While dentures provide a more affordable option for replacing missing teeth, they may require more frequent replacements than other treatments.
Dental bridges are permanent replacements for missing teeth. Functionally, bridges restore your natural bite and prevent movement of adjacent teeth, including over-eruption of the tooth opposite the gap. They can be viewed as crowns that are joined together and cemented on the supporting teeth, with a fixed false tooth in-between to fill the gap where a tooth is missing. They are a very desirable alternative to a removable partial denture and are ideal for those who cannot receive a dental implant due to bone loss or other reasons.
One of the most common treatments for replacing a missing tooth is a dental implant. An implant consists of a titanium screw that is placed into your jaw. Dental implants are fixed to the bone through “osseo-integration”, meaning it becomes integrated into the jaw bone as bone grows around it. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic with addition of sedation if required, and is one of the more preferred methods to replace a missing tooth. After the implant has been placed, a period of healing is required before a custom-made artificial tooth is attached to the implant. This planted screw provides a secure and permanent base that becomes the anchor for a single crown, a bridge, or to hold a denture in place.