Losing a tooth can be the cause of real social and psychological concern, as well as affecting the function and general health of the other teeth, due to the resulting tooth movement. There are three main ways to replace missing teeth:
- Dentures – The classic “false teeth” These are removable and reversible replacements. They are constructed in either acrylic or cobalt-chrome metal and acrylic over a series of appointments involving the dental technician.
- Bridges – A bridge is used as a permanent replacement for one or more missing teeth. They are both aesthetic and functional, restoring your natural bite and preventing movement of adjacent teeth and over eruption of the tooth opposite the gap. In simple terms they can be viewed as crowns joined together and cemented on the supporting teeth, with a fixed false tooth in between to “bridge the gap”. They are a very desirable alternative to a removable partial denture.
- Implants – An implant is a device made of titanium that is gently placed into your jaw to act as an anchor for a single crown, a bridge, or to hold a denture in place. It becomes fixed to the bone by “osseo-integration” i.e. it becomes integrated into the jaw bone as the bone grows around it. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic with addition of sedation if required. For further details, please see Implants.