If you have lost one or more of your natural teeth, it is highly likely that your dentist has recommended that you pursue some form of replacement for the missing teeth. It is important to understand why it is vital to replace your missing teeth; continue reading to learn more.
Why Is It Important to Replace Missing Teeth?
The teeth are held in place by the jaw bone. Once a tooth is removed from its place in the mouth, the bone that once surrounded the roots of the tooth begins to recede. Without the stimulation of chewing and biting, the bone level begins to decrease and weaken.
Over time, this places the patient at risk for:
- Looseness in the surrounding teeth
- The eventual loss of surrounding teeth
- Sunken appearance on the face (due to teeth loss)
- Difficulty chewing or speaking
- Loss of confidence or self-esteem
Replacing the missing teeth in your mouth helps to ensure that you can continue to get full use of your bite and preserves the integrity of the remaining teeth. It also helps you to avoid feeling self-conscious about the look of your smile.
Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
When it comes time to replace the missing teeth in your mouth, you have plenty of options. Examples of dental treatment for replacing missing teeth include:
- Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are one of the most cost-effective options for replacing one or more teeth in the mouth. They are typically composed of flexible acrylic, metal, or a mixture of the two materials. The type of material that is used depends upon the patient’s needs, wants, and budget, as well as the discretion of the dentist.
Partial dentures are designed to clip into place around designated anchor teeth inside the mouth. In the space left by the missing tooth, “fake” teeth fill the gap and complete the smile line. The shade, shape, and size of the denture teeth are designed to match the natural teeth.
- Dental Bridge: Dental bridges are multi-unit structures that are designed to fit directly over the top of two anchor teeth. Between the two anchor teeth, a “fake tooth” (known as a pontic) rests upon the gum line and fills the gap in the smile. In order to provide the most natural possible appearance, the shape, size, and color of the bridge teeth are matched to the natural teeth.
- Dental Implant: Dental implants are often referred to as the “best” way to replace a missing tooth, as they almost perfectly mimic both the aesthetics and the functionality of a natural tooth.
In order to fill a gap in the smile line, a dental implant is placed directly into the patient’s bone where the roots of the tooth once were. The implant provides a sturdy base for a dental crown, which fills the gap in the smile and is designed to match the rest of the natural teeth.
Overall, the end result is an incredibly sturdy and visually-appealing restoration that helps replace missing teeth.
Which Treatment is Right for Me?
When it comes to choosing treatment, it comes down to a few different factors, such as:
- Your budget
- Your expectations for treatment
- The amount of bone present in the jaw
- The number of teeth that are missing
A thorough consultation with your trusted Sydney dentist will help you determine which treatment method is best for you.
Things to Consider
Here are some things to consider when choosing treatment for replacing a missing tooth:
While partial dentures are excellent for replacing multiple teeth and are typically very cost-effective, there are a few possible drawbacks to consider:
- Dentures are removable; they are not permanent fixtures
- Repeatedly removing and placing the dentures back inside the mouth may cause the clasps to wear down or damage the anchor teeth
Dental bridges are ideal for filling the space left by one or two missing teeth. Some things to consider include:
- In order to place the bridge inside the mouth, the two adjacent teeth on either side of the space must be shaved down and prepped to ensure that the bridge will fit over top of them. Ultimately, this means that otherwise “healthy” teeth must be altered.
- If one tooth beneath the bridge fails, there is a chance that the whole bridge may fail, as well.
Dental implants are excellent for replacing a missing tooth, as they provide the function and look of a natural tooth. Some things to consider include:
- There must be an adequate level of bone to allow the successful placement of the implant - if there is not enough bone, the patient may not qualify as a candidate for implant treatment
- Implants may not be covered by dental insurance
Of course, every patient experience is different; what works best for you may not work for another person, and vice-versa. The best way to determine which treatment you will benefit most from is to consult your dentist.
FY Smile: Best Dentist in Sydney
With the information you have learned here, you will be well-equipped for choosing the treatment that is right for you.
Here at FY Smile, we are happy to help our patients find the best method of replacing missing teeth.
If you are in the Double Bay area and searching for the “best missing tooth treatment in Sydney”, search no longer. For the most comprehensive general dental care in Sydney, place your trust in FY Smile.
Your journey towards the beautiful smile of your dreams starts here. In addition to offering comprehensive dental and orthodontic treatment options in Sydney, FY Smile is proud to operate as an official Digital Smile Design clinic. Our team of experts will work with you to design a beautiful smile that naturally complements your features and provides you with priceless confidence.
For more information about treatment for replacing missing teeth or to get scheduled in our Double Bay dental office, give us a call anytime at 02 8319 5557.