You’re missing a tooth that you want to replace. Perhaps you’re undecided about your final treatment plan, or perhaps you’ve made up your mind, but it will be a while before you can proceed with an implant or bridge. What can be done in the meantime to fill that space? One common option is to mask the missing space by wearing a removable acrylic denture (aka a flipper).  Another option is an “Essix” appliance. 

Clear trays

If you’ve come across Invisalign orthodontic treatment, Essix retainers may already look familiar.  Essix retainers are clear, removable trays that fit over the upper or lower teeth. In situations where there are missing teeth, tooth-coloured filling material can be added inside the tray where teeth are missing. When you wear the Essix appliance, your missing teeth are filled in by the material in the tray, making it look like the teeth are actually there. The shade of the filling material can be selected to blend with your adjacent teeth for a more esthetic result. 

What does the process entail?

Essix trays require some stable teeth in the mouth for support, so this is not a solution for everyone with missing teeth. Book an appointment with one of our dentists to determine if an Essix retainer is right for you. If Dr. Chow or Dr. Bellusci determines that your teeth are suitable for this appliance, then impressions are taken of your teeth at our office in Surrey to make the clear customized tray(s). The appliance will be tried in at your second appointment. The fit of the appliance is checked and adjusted, if necessary. Freezing and drilling of teeth are usually not required.

Why is this a short-term solution?

It’s important to understand that these appliances are there primarily for esthetics. These trays do wear over time with use, and they should also not be worn while eating and drinking.