Missing teeth can appear unsightly, lead to lack of chewing function, put increased strain on the remaining teeth and cause teeth to move into unwanted positions. A functioning dentition is needed in order to chew food properly, thus aiding your digestive system and nutritional health. Teeth you are happy to look at is an important aspect to your emotional health and shouldn’t be underestimated. It is therefore important to discuss replacing missing teeth with your dentist.
Possible consequences of tooth loss
There are a few options when it comes to replacing teeth:
The loss of all your natural teeth can have a huge impact on your life. As well as affecting your daily activities such as eating, talking and laughing, losing your teeth can also lower your self-esteem. The dentures we make at Gwynne Dental will look like your natural teeth and fit precisely and very accurately. Your quality of life will be improved, and you will be able to eat, talk and laugh with confidence with your dentures securely in place.
These contain hard plastic teeth on a strong acrylic base that have excellent stain and breakage resistance and have a very natural appearance. We can make them to look like your original teeth or can discuss a new ‘cosmetic’ set up.
These are usually partial dentures replacing only a few of the upper or lower teeth. They are designed to be supported by the remaining teeth and are extremely accurate and strong. They have the advantage of being very thin and non-bulky to wear. They are cosmetically very good and the teeth used of high quality to give a natural looking smile.
These are made from a new material called PEEK. It is strong and slightly flexible and used for partial dentures. It therefore has the advantage of not needing to be supported by other teeth by the use of clasps on teeth and feels softer in the mouth. They are extremely retentive and have fantastic cosmetics.
The ‘Gold’ standard. Dentures are stabilised with implants which are used to securely hold the denture in place. The implants are small titanium screws and are inserted in your jaw bone keeping it strong and healthy. Two implants are usually placed to secure a lower denture and three to four to secure an upper denture. You can remove your denture for cleaning and attach it securely in place with no need for denture adhesive.
Bridges are made from zirconia or emax porcelain and act to close a missing tooth gap. They do this by crowning adjacent teeth and attaching the ‘false’ pontic tooth to the crowns which ultimately support it. This takes 2 appointments as per crowning a tooth and has a very similar process.
It usually takes 2 appointments for a bridge to be made following the initial consultation. An x ray will usually be taken prior to the treatment starting.
The teeth are ‘numbed’ using local anaesthetic and then prepared by reducing the tooth by 2-3 mm following the original contours of the tooth, not a small peg shape as historically prepared teeth were.
Impressions or scans are done of the teeth and the opposite arch to make sure both the fit and bite of the bridge is perfect. A shade will be taken to ensure a great match to the rest of the teeth.
A temporary bridge is made at this appointment which will be in place for 1 – 2 weeks. This is designed to be removed easily so it is important to be careful to avoid hard, sticky foods or flossing around the temporary for this interim patch.
The second appointment will be much shorter and may involve numbing. The temporary will be lifted off and the new permanent crown tried in to make sure it fits and looks perfect. When both the dentist and patient are happy the permanent crown is cemented in place with an incredibly strong cement. It is highly unlikely it will ever de bond or break.
Dental implants are the best long-term solution to missing teeth for most people. They act as your original tooth did. The implant, which is made of titanium, is fitted in bone where the tooth root would normally be. When fully integrated to the bone, a crown, bridge or denture is then placed over the implant to replace the missing tooth or teeth. This provides not only a strong fixed solution but as with any crown the shape and shade of the tooth can be cosmetically blended into the natural dentition.
They allow people to eat, talk and smile with confidence, knowing that their replacement teeth appear natural, their facial contours are preserved and they are as secure as their natural teeth.
We offer an implant placement service at Gwynne Dental using the Straumann System. Straumann is a Swiss based company and is the European market leader in implants. It has an extensive research and development arm and provides we feel the very best quality implants you can buy. Many cheaper copy cat systems are on the market today. If you would like more information please ask, all our staff are trained to answer your questions and are happy to help.
Very high levels of aesthetics can be achieved with all the options described above. Everything we carry out at Gwynne Dental will have a high consideration for aesthetics.