An increasing number of people are suffering from the loss of teeth. Whether it’s due to age and natural wear and tear on our gums, or dental-related injuries, sometimes the tooth can’t be salvaged, leaving an unsightly gap. But what can you do about it?
A missing tooth does not only have an impact on your smile, but also on your confidence. If you have missing teeth and are based in York, you may be looking for a dental Implant solution. Not only will replacing the gap in your teeth improve the way you look, but you’ll also benefit from being able to speak and eat more easily.
Are Gaps in Your Teeth Really a Big Deal?
If you have gaps in your teeth but you’re willing to live with them, you might wonder “what’s the point in treatment?” But missing teeth can have a larger impact on your overall oral health. When you have gaps, it affects the way your remaining teeth bite together. Your existing teeth may move slightly over time, drifting into the gaps and allowing food to get trapped in the spaces. With your teeth not aligned correctly — which makes it difficult for you to clean your teeth and remove all the plaque — this can lead to tooth decay or gum disease.
What Are My Options for Missing Teeth?
If you have gaps in your teeth and are looking for a remedy, there are multiple treatment options available. The one best suited to you will ultimately depend on your individual circumstances and the current state of your oral health. The range of options are usually denture, dental bridge or dental implant.
Dental implants offer a long-lasting, natural-looking tooth substitute that attaches to the jawbone and helps maintain your oral health. A crown or false tooth attaches to a titanium implant that is fixed to the jawbone. The jaw then fuses to the titanium implant, ensuring the implant is fixed firmly in place. Our team specialise in dental implants, so you’re in safe hands if your missing teeth are giving you grief.
Is a Dental Implant for You?
If you have a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth that are separated by your existing teeth, an implant will work for you. While being cost-effective, a dental implant also offers stability and comfort, due to the fact that it attaches to the bone.
Sometimes, there may be an insufficient amount of bone to attach an implant to. This often happens if the patient has lost teeth and not had them replaced, suffered from gum disease, or their jawbone has broken down over time.
In these cases, our dentists can perform a bone graft. A bone graft is a straightforward procedure where bone can be taken from any part of the body and used to support the jaw and implant. Alternatively, we can use an artificial bone graft substitute to compensate for any bone deficiency.
If you’re missing multiple teeth in a row, a fixed dental bridge is an ideal solution. These are usually fixed either side of the gap to the natural teeth. By using dental crowns, or caps, at either side of the gap, a false tooth can be cemented in place. A potential downside of this is that otherwise healthy natural teeth may need to be drilled to support the crown. The alternative to this is an adhesive bridge, which has wings that bond to the back of the supporting teeth, eliminating the need for drilling.
Implants can also be used to support bridges that would otherwise rely on the mouth’s tissue and put pressure on the bone and gums. The implant is fitted with a crown, just as it usually would, with the supporting false teeth forming the bridge in the centre.
The final solution to missing teeth is to have a partial denture. This is a plate that can accommodate several false teeth. These attach to the mouth using clasps, or clips, which secure them in place. Dentures can be made from a variety of materials, each with their own benefits. Our dentists will advise you on the best material to use, depending on the condition of your teeth.
Dentures are removable and, as such, require more care than bridges or dental implants. Whichever option you choose, you’ll need to ensure you clean your teeth regularly, but dentures will require extra attention, especially when you’re eating. If your dentist recommends that you remove your denture at night, you should keep them in water to prevent cracking.
Despite their disadvantages, dentures are an extremely cost-effective option if you have missing teeth. They can also be made to look more natural and blend in with the gums, so most people won’t even be able to tell you’re wearing them!
You don’t have to let missing teeth affect your confidence or overall oral health. Your smile can be given new life, whether you opt for dental implants, a bridge or dentures. On top of this, you’ll significantly reduce your risk of gum disease and trouble while eating. The benefits are endless.