Teeth Replacement Options
At Anokhi Dental, our mission is to help you retain your natural teeth in the healthiest condition for as long as possible. In some cases where dental disease is advanced, this is not possible and removal of the tooth may be the only option.
It is important to fill the gap where the tooth was to avoid:
- Tipping and/or movement of surrounding teeth.
- Changes in the bite.
- TMJ (jaw joint) issues.
- Over-eruption of the opposing tooth.
- Compromised chewing and digestion.
- Stress on other teeth which have to work extra hard to compensate for the missing tooth.
Where teeth are missing, we offer these options for filling the gap. Your dentist will discuss each option with you and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each, based on your unique situation.
A denture is a removable replacement for a missing tooth or teeth.
A partial denture fills in the space where teeth are missing and is held in place by clasps around the remaining teeth. At Anokhi Dental, we generally prefer to use Duraflex dentures. Duraflex is a flexible, removable partial denture that can fill gaps from 1 to 12 teeth, both upper and lower. We believe that the benefits of Duraflex dentures are:
- They tend to be comfortable, durable and lightweight.
- They do not have metal clasps or contain any metal, hence blend well with both gums and existing teeth.
- There is no need to drill or compromise your own teeth for them to fit well therefore they are minimally invasive.
- They can be made small enough so that very little of the rest of the mouth is encumbered.
Excellent oral hygiene is required in order to maintain the health of the remaining teeth and longevity of the denture. An initial “settling” period is generally required by most people during which the mouth adjusts to the denture. As well as allowing the mouth to adjust, your denture will require refinements. Your dentist will schedule follow up and refinement appointments once your denture has been fitted in order to enable it to “settle in” as soon as possible
A complete or full denture replaces all of the natural teeth in the upper or lower jaw and is made of acrylic.
A dental bridge is one method to fill a space created by a missing tooth (or teeth). It is made up of 2 or more dental crowns placed on anchor teeth either side of a gap and a replacement(s) in between. Bridges are non-removable and feel and look just like real teeth. They can be used to fill a gap very successfully in some cases, and cannot be detected when done well.
Placing a bridge involves filing down the teeth on either side of the space, rather substantially, to place crowns over them. The supporting teeth need to be strong enough to support the bridge, and the occlusion (how the bottom and top teeth meet) would need to be assessed. If the teeth on either side of the space are heavily filled, and would need crowns in the near future, then a bridge may be a good option. If the teeth on either side of the space are lightly filled or not filled at all, further consideration may be advised before opting for this treatment.
Not all patients are candidates for bridges. Teeth, bones and gums must be healthy. A bridge does require specific cleaning techniques, and a commitment to maintaining good oral hygiene and regular follow-ups are essential for its longevity. A thorough assessment by a dentist is needed in order to plan any bridgework. We also recommend allowing at least six months for healing after a tooth extraction before placing a bridge.
A dental implant is a titanium post that is placed in the jawbone under the gums. Once placed, a healing period follows during which the bone grows around the implant and integrates with it. Following this, a replacement tooth, known as a crown is attached to the post. The result is a restoration which appears and functions like a natural tooth. Implants may also be used to secure bridges and dentures.
If you choose to have an implant, we will refer you to a specialist surgeon who will place the titanium post. Once the healing has taken place your dentist will then restore the implant with a crown.