Missing teeth are an issue that probably affects more people than you realise. You can lose teeth at any age, for a multitude of reasons. Missing teeth can be a result of injury, gum disease, poor dental hygiene, and more. Luckily, there are options for replacing a missing tooth.
We understand that having missing teeth can impact your confidence as well as your ability to eat and speak. At Beaches Dental Mona Vale we are passionate about healthy teeth and happy smiles. We’re happy to help and can make personalised treatment plans for patients of all ages.
In this article, we will discuss three options for replacing a missing tooth. We’ll also look at some helpful tips for preventing tooth loss.
Two very common dental procedures are crowns and bridges. A crown by itself cannot replace a missing tooth, rather it is used to support a bridge tooth. Bridges are often used for replacing a missing tooth. A bridge uses the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth to attach to. The natural teeth on either side will be capped with a crown- this is what the bridge fuses to. The crowns and bridge will be colour matched to your natural teeth so they will have a natural look. They are permanently fused to your teeth and can last many years.
A disadvantage in using bridges to replace missing teeth is that they can be harder to keep clean. Overall, bridges can be a good option for replacing a missing tooth. They are less expensive than some other dental treatments and if neighbouring teeth already have large fillings, crowning may increase protection for these teeth.
One of the most long-lasting options for replacing a missing tooth is an implant. Dental implants are strong and long-lasting, but for this reason, are also one of the most expensive options. The dental implant procedure involves surgically inserting a small titanium screw into your jawbone. This is then topped with a crown. One advantage of implants over bridges is that dental implants don’t affect the adjacent teeth. So, a great option if the neighbouring teeth don’t have any previous holes or fillings. Implants look and function just like a real tooth. This makes it hard for people to know your dental implants aren’t your own teeth!
Dental implants do come with disadvantages, the process is a lot more involved and takes longer with more visits than that of a bridge. It is a surgery, so there is a recovery period after placement and a good level of general health is needed for you to undergo the treatment.
Dentures can be used to replace one or multiple teeth. With age, our teeth can start to show signs of wear and deterioration. Dentures offer a non-invasive, removable solution for replacing missing teeth.
The downside is that they may take some getting used to especially if you are replacing multiple teeth. Like all treatment options, they do require some maintenance and will either require realigning or replacing every few years. Dentures can be made in multiple designs to best fit your mouth and the tooth coloured and shaped to match your other teeth.
How to Prevent Tooth Loss
It is always better to prevent a problem before it occurs. Sometimes losing a tooth is unavoidable, like in the case of an accident or general wear and tear. However, sometimes people lose teeth because of a lack of good oral hygiene. So, let’s discuss some ways you can care for your teeth and hopefully avoid unnecessary tooth loss.
- Brush your teeth twice a day for a full two minutes
- Floss every day
- Use a fluoride-based toothpaste
- Eat a healthy diet (limit sugary food and drink)
- Visit your dentist for regular check-ups (every 6 to 9 months)
- Wear a mouthguard for sporting games or activities if necessary
If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to maintaining great oral health.
How can Your Northern Beaches Dentist Help?
Luckily there are several options for replacing a missing tooth. It is important to speak to a trusted dentist when exploring these options. At Beaches Dental Mona Vale, our dentists are qualified and experienced in all of these procedures. We take great care and pride in our dental work. We want all of our patients to have a bright and healthy smile that they love. If you’d like to learn more then give us a call today.