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.
Partial dentures are removable tooth prosthetics that replace one or more missing teeth. Many patients elect dentures for tooth replacement if they are not candidates for implants or bridges, or are otherwise looking for a more budget-friendly option. Partials are affordable alternatives, and are custom-made to blend in with natural teeth. (If you are missing all your upper and/or lower teeth, you may want to read about complete dentures).
Frequently Asked Questions
You may be a candidate for partial dentures if have some stable teeth in the same dental arch. To explore your prosthetic options, book a professional consultation with your dentist.
Denture fabrication is a process that will take several appointments. After the initial consult, in which the dentist discusses the design of your denture, slight modifications to the surfaces on a few natural teeth may be needed to help with denture stability. This is followed by impressions of the upper and lower teeth. Throughout the process, the dentist will take records that will be shared with the dental laboratory that makes your denture.
Partial dentures require gentle care and frequent cleaning.
It takes time to adjust to a new denture. However, a follow-up visit is suggested if your partial denture is causing you discomfort. Also, continue with your usual exams and cleanings, and don’t forget to bring your partial dentures along to each visit. After a few years of use, you may find that your partial needs to be relined to better adapt to the changes in your mouth.