16 Oct Bridging & Filling that Gap in your Smile
Have you recently lost a tooth or about to and have been offered alternative solutions to fill the gap? Not sure which solution to take?
When a tooth has to go it has to go. We don’t suggest removal lightly and will do everything possible to retain it but sometimes that’s all there is to it.
We do understand though that losing a tooth can be quite traumatic and you will want a replacement as soon as possible. Let’s talk about some of the solutions.
A denture or false tooth – this is often the easiest and quickest way to replace a missing tooth.
An impression is taken of your mouth and our dental technician constructs a plastic false tooth that can be taken in and out of the mouth.
This is relatively inexpensive and quick but many people dislike the feel of the denture in their mouth, it can affect the way you taste food and it may move making you feel quite self conscious.
This is also a false tooth but this time the “false” tooth is secured to an adjacent tooth or teeth by way of a sticky wing or another crown. If the teeth either side of the gap have no dental work on them it is unlikely that we will want to change that. We know that the more work we do on a tooth, the shorter it’s life span so gone are the days where we would just trim down the tooth to put a fixed bridge in place.
If the adjacent teeth already have crowns then that is a different matter and a fixed bridge incorporating the missing tooth by way of a two or three conjoined crown structure may be a good solution. If the teeth have been untouched or maybe have small fillings in them, a Maryland bridge may prove to be the best option. This involves minimal preparation of the tooth and sometimes no preparation at all.
A Maryland bridge is constructed by our technician and the bridge looks like a crown that is attached via a wing. This wing is then adhered onto the back of the adjacent tooth by dental resins. A Maryland bridge gives a super Minimally Invasive solution but it is not always possibly in all cases. If you have a strong bite opposing the bridge, and your dentist can tell by the wear facets in your teeth, then there is every likelihood that you would dislodge this type of bridge when eating or chewing.
The gold standard to replace a missing tooth is by using a dental implant. This is also the most expensive and the most time consuming.
Sometimes an implant can be inserted at the time of extraction but usually a period of time passes to allow healing and then the titanium dental implant is placed into the jaw bone using a surgical technique. The implant is then left to integrate into the bone over a 3-4 month period. At the end of that time the implant is uncovered and it is used to support a suprastructure with a crown on.
The finished result is like all the other teeth, strong, permanent, no need to remove for cleaning or at night and aesthetically pleasing. It is important to note, though, that not all situations are suitable for dental implants. Your dentist will assess the amount of bone present, the quality of the bone and the health of all the other dental tissues in the mouth.
As you can see many factors have to be taken into account when deciding on how to replace a missing tooth and it is not always a case of one solution. We work hard to ensure you have all the information to be able to make the choice for yourself. We can’t decide for you but we can make sure you are well informed.
If you would like to discuss this further with one of our team then please contact the practice for an appointment.
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