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 our Surrey dentists at Vivant Dental in the Panorama area.
Dental implants may be used to replace a single missing or damaged tooth, or to restore multiple teeth. Modern dental implants provide prosthetic teeth that are nearly indistinguishable from normal teeth in appearance, and are usually long-lasting. These artificial roots are anchored in the bone beneath the gums where they become integrated in the jaw. A crown is mounted atop the implant for a natural looking restoration.
Did you know…
that modern titanium implants were first developed in the 1950’s, but archeologists have determined that ancient Egyptians and Mayans were the first cultures to implant artificial teeth.
Many dentists and patients prefer dental implants for replacing missing teeth because implants offer similar function to natural teeth, and also help maintain the jaw bone. If you have missing, broken or severely decayed teeth that cannot be saved, speak with an oral care provider to discuss your eligibility for implants.
The placement of dental implants is a multi-step process that typically takes between 6 and 9 months to complete. Typically the process starts with taking radiographs (X-ray) images to assess whether there is enough bone in the area of the missing teeth to support implants. If there is adequate bone, a dental specialist will surgically place a titanium component that mimics a natural tooth root. Over the next few months, the surrounding bone will grow around the implant, adding stability. At the conclusion of the healing period, you’ll return to your general dentist to be fitted for the crown, bridge, or denture that sits on top of the implant.