Teeth can be missing for many reasons, including dental decay, tooth fracture, gum disease, genetics and accidents. If a missing tooth is not replaced, you may notice tipping of the adjacent or opposing teeth into that space over time. These changes can lead to increased wear of certain teeth, or spaces between the remaining teeth where food can get stuck. If you are looking to replace teeth, here are a few options:
An implant is considered to be the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. It is a post, usually made of titanium, that is surgically placed into the bone where the tooth is missing. The bone is allowed to heal and fuse with the post for a few months before the top portion that you see above the gums, also known as the crown, is attached.
Like implants, bridges are a non-removable prosthesis. Unlike an implant, which replaces the entire tooth including the root, a bridge only fills in the missing crown (chewing) portion that’s visible above the gums. The portion that looks like the missing tooth is called a pontic. For the most common type of bridge, the pontic is connected to crowns that sit on the supporting teeth on each side of the missing tooth. These supporting teeth must first be modified prior to the bridge being inserted.
A denture is a removable prosthesis that can be taken out anytime. Dentures are a more affordable way of replacing multiple teeth.
The choice is highly dependent on your individual circumstance and should be discussed with your dentist. There are many factors to be considered, including:
If you are missing a tooth, take the first step to book a consultation with the dentists at Vivant Dental in the Surrey Panorama area.
What are crowns and bridges, and how are they different?
Crowns (also known as caps) are tooth prosthetics that restore natural teeth or dental implants. Reasons for getting a crown on a natural tooth include:
Bridges are tooth prosthetics that replace missing one or more missing teeth. They are anchored by the stable natural teeth or implants that are adjacent to the missing teeth.
Did you know…
that the Etruscan civilization were the first to use crowns as a means of restoring damaged teeth? The materials they used were ivory, gold, and bone.
Generally speaking, crowns and bridges can be of gold alloy, porcelain bonded to metal, or all ceramic.
Crown and bridge fabrication is generally a two-appointment process. The teeth that will support the restoration will first be shaped to provide enough space for the thickness of the restorative material. Impressions are then taken. If you are opting for a tooth-coloured restoration, such as one with porcelain, the dentist will suggest a shade that blends with your other teeth. You will be fitted with a temporary restoration until the permanent one is ready. Your crown or bridge will be inserted at a second appointment.
Yes. After the first appointment, the dental team will instruct you on how to floss around your temporary crowns and bridges. Avoid eating hard or sticky foods with the temporary. You may experience some mild heat and cold sensitivity, and soreness at the gums initially. This is usually manageable over-the-counter pain medications. If there is any discomfort on biting with that tooth, please inform your dentist.