Options for Replacing a Single Missing Tooth - image

As you get older, you can lose teeth for a variety of reasons. You might have an accident or suffer from periodontal (gum) disease that weakens the bed of your tooth making it more likely to fall out. Not replacing a single missing tooth can lead to complications later on and can cause problems for oral hygiene.

Many people will take the cheap option and leave the missing tooth, not realising that this could be a mistake. Your other teeth may begin to shift and you might favour one side of your denture to the other, causing greater wear. Having your full complement of teeth ensures an even bite and less risk of developing problems like gum disease.

The other cheaper option is to get a removable denture or plate. This is made of acrylic and essential covers the roof of your mouth. The problems people find with this solution is that they cannot taste very well and particles of food can get trapped quite easily. If the denture is not removed and cleaned regularly it can cause problems like developing fungal infections.

You can also get a single tooth denture which is often chosen as a good temporary option prior to having an implant put in.

Having a Bridge

There are two options for bridges – fixed or resin-retained.

A fixed bridge – the teeth either side of the gap are cut to little pegs and the prosthetic bridge attached. A company like Evolve Dental Studio (NZ Laboratory) can match the colour of your surrounding teeth and produce a bridge within two weeks. The disadvantage of using a fixed bridge is that it is destructive to the surrounding teeth but, with good oral hygiene and care, it can last as long as ten years.

A resin-retained bridge – this is not as destructive on the adjacent teeth and is better for areas that don’t take much load such as the front teeth. It is not considered robust enough for the posterior teeth because of the work that your molars have to do in chewing. A well looked after resin retained bridge can last up to 5 years with good oral hygiene.

Having an implant

A titanium screw is placed in the jawbone which is then left to osseointegrate (knit with the bone) over a period  3-6 months. An implant crown is then made that is placed over the screw. Implants are the more expensive than other options but there is less damage to the surround teeth and, with a good oral hygiene regime, can last a lifetime.

How you replace your missing teeth will depend on many factors. At the Sameday Teeth Suite in Nottingham, Leicester and Loughborough we pride ourselves in helping you to make the right decision by offering you a frank discussion with a dental specialist who will talk through your concerns, finances and what goals you want to achieve with your treatment.

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