Solutions for missing teeth
Missing teeth can cause lots of problems, both functionally and cosmetically. You needn’t suffer, though. Dental treatment technologies have progressed a lot in the last few decades, resulting in quite a few treatment options available to replace missing teeth.
Regardless of whether lost through decay or accident, it is important that a missing tooth is replaced. Not only will it improve your appearance, but filling the gap from a missing tooth or teeth will aid in overall functionality and prevention of other dental problems.
Missing teeth can bring about dental complications
The following issues can occur if missing teeth are not replaced:
- The gums may recede and there may be bone loss within the jaw
- The cheeks may appear hollow or collapsed
- Damage to other teeth from stress
- Movement of other teeth toward the gap/s causing alignment problems
- Your natural bite may become distorted
- You may experience some difficulty chewing food and speaking
Your dentist can assist you in determining the most appropriate course of action for your situation so that these complications can be minimised or avoided entirely.
What are the treatments for missing teeth?
Dental prosthetics have come a long way in recent years. There are now solutions for single tooth gaps, as well as multiple missing teeth. Typically, there are 3 main treatment options available to patients:
Dental implants are the most natural-looking tooth replacement option and are a permanent
solution because the implant/s are fixed and fully integrated into your jaw, without the need for support from surrounding teeth.
Dental implants are the closest match to your natural teeth for comfort and functionality, too. A single dental implant is a highly effective solution to replacing a single missing tooth. The implant consists of a titanium fixture or ‘root’, an implant abutment, and a custom-made crown.
Bridges are an alternative to dental implants and can be a solution to replacing a single missing tooth, or multiple teeth. The existing natural teeth either side of the gap are used for support.
A conventional dental bridge is made up of an artificial tooth or teeth that connect to one or more dental crowns. There are also bonded dental bridges, whereby the artificial tooth is glued to the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth’s gap.
While they have been the traditional solution for decades, dentures have come a long way in terms of functionality, appearance and comfort. Dentures are artificial teeth fixed to a frame or plate that can be removed from the mouth and put back in. Partial dentures are an option for one or a couple of missing teeth, or full dentures can be the solution if many teeth are missing.
There is also the alternative of having the dentures secured into the mouth by being anchored to dental implants, known as implant overdentures. They are a an ideal solution where full dentures are required, as they are very stable and retentive, giving you peace of mind that they won’t move or fall out.
Which solution is the right one?
We understand that every patient and case is unique. Unfortunately, there is no ‘cure all’ as the right option for you may depend on the circumstances that brought about the loss of the tooth/teeth, your overall dental health, your budget, the list goes on.
The first step in doing something about it, though, is to head to your dentist for a personalised consultation where your mouth will be assessed and the options discussed with you.
Call our friendly and professional team at The Point Dental today on 03 9020 4493 for more information or to book an appointment. Alternatively, click here to complete the enquiry form.