Replacing missing teeth – are dental implants your best option?

So you have lost a tooth. What now?

At Castle Dental, we feel it is our role to offer you all the options available for replacing a missing tooth. Providing that you understand the pros and cons of each option, we let you decide which form of treatment is most suitable for you.

Treatment options available include:

Do nothing

Missing one or two teeth may be fine in the short term. Depending on where it is in the mouth. We find that patients who are missing a tooth or two may experience a little bit of difficulty in chewing or it may be an aesthetic concern. In the medium to longer term, the remaining teeth may move and shift out of position and cause food to be trapped in teeth causing teeth to be more prone to rotting and gum disease. The remaining teeth will also need to take more load and can cause them to be more prone to overload, crack and split.

If a few more teeth are lost the teeth may collapse. This is similar to books in a bookcase. When one or two books are removed from the bookcase it is generally ok but when there are a few more the books will collapse. If there are many gaps, the teeth will tilt and move into each other and the face can collapse.

Dentures

  • Treatment option for replacing teeth
  • Been around for many years
  • Replace one or more missing teeth.
  • Able to be removed from the mouth.

Partial dentures are held in the mouth by clips to the remaining teeth. The remaining teeth need to be  particularly well looked after.

Full Dentures are retained in the mouth by suction. Suction may be difficult on the bottom jaw because the tongue is a very strong muscle and can disrupt the suction.

Dentures can be stabilized by dental implants so that they are still removable.

Dental bridges

  • Can replace a missing tooth
  • Are custom fabricated artificial teeth
  • Used in conjunction with crowns attached to the teeth on either side of the gap
  • Can be made out of porcelain, gold alloy or zirconia. Porcelain and zirconia made restorations can be matched to your natural tooth colour
  • Fixed in place with dental cement

Placement of a bridge can help restore function and keep the adjacent teeth in position to maintain the natural bite.

Time frames for fabrication of a bridge can be as short as 2 weeks.

Dental implants

Dental Implants are a treatment option to replace a missing tooth or teeth. They replace the root of the tooth. Dental Implants are titanium screws placed into the bone. Overtime the bone fuses onto the implant. This allows for chewing and function. Because implants do not have a nerve, chewing will feel slightly different and sensation is also slightly different to natural teeth but ability to eat and function is vastly improved compared to dentures.

A variety of fixtures can be placed onto a dental implant. These include:

  • Crowns to replace a missing tooth.
  • Bridges to replace missing teeth.
  • Fixtures to retain and stabilise dentures.