Having gaps in your teeth can make you feel very self conscious about your smile, it can also lead to issues with your remaining teeth. It's usually recommended that missing teeth are replaced to prevent the remaining teeth moving into the empty space, which can result in more problems such as food and plaque traps, gum disease, stresses on other teeth and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems.
There are several ways to replace missing teeth which include dentures, implants and bridges.
A dental bridge is designed to 'bridge' the gap between teeth, where one or more teeth are missing. A bridge usually uses one or both teeth either side of the gap to attach crowns which then carry the missing tooth or teeth. Alternatively, it is sometimes possible to use a small metal wing to attach the missing tooth to it's neighbour. Each case needs careful assessment and all options would be discussed with you fully.
A denture is also known as a plate and should be removed at night. It is not fixed in the mouth like implants or bridges but is sometimes the best option to replace missing teeth. You may want to consider a denture if you have already worn one successfully and it needs to be replaced due to wear or if you have a lot of teeth to replace or you need a temporary replacement of teeth whilst waiting for an extracted tooth space to heal or you are not suitable for implants and your remaining teeth are not suitable for a bridge.
Implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth without needing to involve either of the adjacent teeth. The implant replicates the function of the root of the tooth and when secured into your jawbone, they will support a crown, bridge or denture where you have a missing tooth. Dental implants are titanium posts that are tightly fitted into the jaw bone. Once the implant is integrated with the bone, a crown or bridge will then be fitted onto the post. Dental implants can be placed in any healthy adult patient with good quality, fully developed jawbones.
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