What is the Best Way to Replace Missing Teeth?
Tooth loss is very common, especially as you get older. Here at Downham Market Dental Care, we always do everything possible to help save natural teeth and extraction is always the last resort. However if you do lose a tooth or several teeth it’s really important that you think about replacing them as soon as possible. This applies even if the missing tooth is right at the back at the mouth and doesn’t seem to cause any problems.
Tooth loss destabilises your remaining natural teeth, creating a space that is easy for them to drift into or towards and this can affect the way your teeth and bite together or occlude. It also means you have fewer teeth to eat with, so your natural teeth are more likely to become damaged due to the increased forces during biting and chewing. Then of course there are the aesthetics, as most people like their smile to look as nice as possible. So what are the options for tooth replacement? You have three main choices as we can use dentures that may be full or partial, dental bridges or dental implants.
Dentures have been used for a very long time and are a cost-effective and non-invasive way of replacing teeth. It’s possible for modern dentures to look extremely good but they are not without problems. The jawbone does change shape after tooth loss and this affects the stability of dentures. As a result they can become increasingly loose and ill-fitting making them uncomfortable to wear and tricky to eat with.
Bridges are fixed permanently in place and are supported by crowns on teeth adjacent to the gap. These provide a good solution for tooth loss, particularly if the teeth to be crowned will benefit from this process. You’ll find your dentist at Downham Market can supply beautiful porcelain bridges and they can even be entirely metal free so they look just like real teeth. This treatment might not be so good if the teeth to be crowned are perfectly healthy and nicely shaped as they will need to be ground down in preparation for the bridge.
Dental implants are the most up-to-date solution for replacing missing teeth and they are extremely versatile. Dental implants in Downham Market can replace single or multiple teeth and you can choose to use them to stabilise loose dentures. If you prefer, then dental implants can replace dentures altogether as it’s possible to have a fixed bridge replacing a full arch of teeth. This treatment can cost a little more initially, but it’s a very good long-term solution and it’s also very healthy for your jawbone as dental implant posts help prevent bone loss, keeping the bone strong and healthy.
The only way to find out for sure which option would be best for you is to book an appointment with your dentist in Downham Market. We can discuss all the pros and cons of each treatment so you can make an informed decision for yourself. Call us today on 01366 382265.