As dentists, we would always recommend replacing your missing teeth. As well as the obvious aesthetic concerns that make many patients with missing teeth shy about smiling in public, there are also health considerations to take into account.
Your remaining teeth are likely to move into any gaps, becoming crooked and more difficult to clean in the process, which increases your chances of plaque and tartar build-up, tooth decay and gum disease, and ultimately further tooth loss. Additional strain is also put on your remaining teeth when you bite and chew. If you have lost several or all of your teeth your diet is likely to be affected, with many people limited to a soft food or liquid diet, which is bad for your overall health as it is difficult to get adequate nutrition.
It is common in patients who have lost most or all of the teeth from one jaw to experience bone loss, as the jaw bone slowly starts to resorb or shrink back without the tooth roots in place. This can lead to a prematurely aged appearance in the face as the skin around the jowls starts to sag.
At The Dental Surgery Burnham, our skilled team of dentists offer a number of tooth replacement options. The best one in your individual case will depend on your needs, wants and circumstances. Here is what we can do. . .
Standard bridges replace one or two adjacent missing teeth. They comprise a false tooth or teeth to replace the missing ones, plus crowns or wings that are attached to surrounding teeth for support. Your surrounding teeth need to be healthy and strong for this procedure to work. Bridges can also sometimes be secured to dental implants.
Dentures can replace several or all missing teeth in one jaw. A full set of dentures replaces a whole jaw of teeth while a partial set replaces several teeth. Standard dentures fit over the gums snuggly and are removable for cleaning. It is also possible to stabilise dentures using dental implants, which helps to prevent the problem of bone resorbtion.
Dental implants are the only permanent way to replace your missing teeth. They are small titanium screws that are put directly in your jaw bone, where they act as replacement tooth roots. They integrate with the bone, preventing bone loss, and can support new teeth in the form of crowns, bridges or dentures, restoring your smile and full functionality.