There are a number of options available to replace a missing tooth or teeth. It isn’t always necessary to replace a missing tooth but often it is recommended to avoid issues with speech, chewing and oral health. Sometimes teeth beside an empty space can move and drift creating new issues. In many cases a tooth replacement is simply to improve the smile.
When replacing a tooth, dental implants are now considered the best, most effective and most durable solution for patients. However they are not always suitable or affordable for everyone.
Dentures are the traditional removable option to replace missing teeth and supporting soft tissues. They can replace single, multiple or all remaining teeth and are made from materials like high impact acrylic and cobalt chrome.
Dentures are less secure than newer bridge or implant options however they still have benefits, particularly where more permanent options are not possible.
A dental bridge is a tooth shaped replacement that is connected to the teeth on either side of the gap.
Dental bridges are useful where implants cannot physically be placed for instance if there is not enough bone, or where there are other medical limitations.
Bridges are more affordable than implants and can be used as a temporary measure if implants are to be considered in the future.
Resin retained bridges are preferred nowadays as they are less invasive and destructive to the adjacent teeth. Conventional bridges are a less popular choice as they require the teeth on either side of the space to be adjusted quite heavily beforehand.
A dental implant is the gold standard in replacing a missing tooth. It is the closest thing to the original tooth in feeling and function. It has an artificial root that is placed into the bone and a crown is placed on top of this to restore the tooth to its original form, function and aesthetics. They have excellent success rates, longevity and look very authentic. They are versatile and can be used in various other treatments, including replacing multiple missing teeth and to aid with orthodontics.