You can lose a tooth at any age through trauma, rough sports, gum disease or advanced tooth decay. The space that is left needs to be filled for the following reasons,
- A missing tooth can alter your smile and appearance.
- Adjacent teeth to the gap can lean into the space and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together.
- Speech can be affected.
- The shape of your face can change when you lose a tooth due to loss of bone.
- Gum disease and tooth decay can occur as a result of food accumulating in the gap.
The most common ways of replacing a missing tooth or teeth are Bridges, Dental Implants and Dentures. A dental implant is a permanent solution for a missing tooth. The implant is a small titanium screw which is inserted into the jawbone, this replaces the natural tooth root. Titanium is a metal which is easily accepted by our bodies. The implant forms a strong bond with the bone and in most cases is anchored in the bone in just 6 weeks. This provides a stable foundation for restoration work to be carried out to replace the missing tooth or teeth.
Dental implants have been scientifically tested and documented for over 30 years and have a long term success rate of over 95% as shown in clinical studies. The advantages of dental implants as opposed to traditional dentures and bridges are:
- The support for a bridge is the neighbouring teeth, even if they are still healthy. Therefore healthy tooth tissue is being compromised.
- The missing tooth root is not replaced.
- When there is no tooth root, bone loss occurs and this can gradually compromise the fit of a denture.
- Ill-fitting dentures cannot only be painful but they can cause difficulties with eating and speaking.
Once the dental implant has been placed the restoration of the missing tooth or teeth can take place. There are various options available depending on which teeth are missing;
- To replace a single tooth either at the front of the mouth or at the back, an implant supported crown would be suitable. This is the closest possible replacement for a natural tooth without compromising the adjacent teeth.
- To replace several teeth, an implant supported bridge would be suitable. These provide a stable, long lasting solution without the problems associated with partial dentures.
- If you have lost all of your teeth, implant supported over-dentures would be suitable. These can eliminate the problems associated with ill-fitting dentures, there is less bone loss so the shape of your face is maintained, they provide lip support and eating and smiling are more pleasurable.
All of these options have different designs and the dentist will take this into consideration when preparing your treatment plan depending on your specific needs. X-rays and models are used when designing your restoration treatment plan. You will be informed of each option and plenty of time will be allowed for you to ask all the questions you may have.
Both Marek Skalka and John Newland have been carrying out restorative work on dental implants for over a decade now and would be very happy to see you for a consultation.
Maintaining excellent dental hygiene when you have dental implants is essential and we have three experienced hygienists who will see you to give oral hygiene advice as part of your treatment.
To watch an animated treatment procedure click here >>
Both dentists use Straumann Dental Implant products, to read more about these and to view them click here: www.naturally-attractive.co.uk