5 reasons why you should replace missing teeth
23 Sep 2020
Nobody wants to lose a tooth… but people do every day. If you have lost a tooth, or have multiple missing teeth, its best to act quickly…
Here's why it's best to replace your missing teeth:
- Crooked teeth- If you don’t replace missing teeth, the remaining teeth become unsupported and can move which may result in spacing or imperfect alignment.
- Gum disease - Quite often, this movement results in ‘food packing’ between the teeth which can lead to bad breath, decay, gum disease, pain and discomfort.
- Jaw pain - If multiple teeth remain missing, you may experience bite disturbances leading to pain in the muscles or joints (temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMD) and unless rectified this can cause greater long-term issues.
- Bone loss - After losing a tooth the jawbone starts to deteriorate due to a process called resorption. The longer teeth are missing, the more resorption occurs. The jawbone weakens, resulting in greater risk for injury and greater restoration difficulty. The jawbone also becomes noticeably smaller, altering the facial appearance.
- Diet restrictions- Missing teeth can make eating very difficult. Having gaps in your smile can lead to you eating a restricted diet, you may avoid firm or ‘chewy’ foods. Missing teeth can also make eating very uncomfortable, which may stop you from eating in public and enjoying a meal with friends and family.
What options are there for missing teeth?
A dental implant is a titanium rod placed into the jawbone and a single porcelain tooth or possibly a bridge (more than 1 tooth) is then placed on top. If there are many teeth missing it is possible to use the All-On-4 system where there are 4 implants placed to support an entire arch of teeth.
With all implants it takes between 6 -12 weeks for the impants to heal (osseointegration). Once the bone is firm around the implant(s) it can support a functioning tooth.
A fixed bridge is where the teeth either side of the missing tooth are prepared to allow for a crown to be placed on both of them and then the missing tooth is replaced with a pontic (porcelain replacement tooth) which is fixed or fused to the crowns creating 1 unit.
A Maryland bridge requires minimal or no preparation of the neighbouring teeth but can only be used in the front of the mouth in most clinical cases.
Partial or full dentures
Denture are removable plates to replace the missing tooth or all teeth. Denture teeth are made of acrylic and are usually supported by a metal or acrylic base. Sometimes there are unsightly clasps on the denture that help hold it in place and provide stability. Plates can also interfere with speech and, if in the upper jaw they may alter taste sensation if they cover the roof of the mouth.
The best place to start is to contact our team to have an exam with one of our dentists, they will advise you on which solution is right for you.