MISSING TEETH

Image by Jonathan Borba

Losing a tooth can be the cause of real social and psychological concern, as well as pain and discomfort. Missing teeth may also affect the function and general health of the other teeth, due to resulting tooth movement.

Missing teeth are mainly replaced with one of three techniques

1. Dentures
Dentures, popularly known as “false teeth”, are removable prosthetic replacements. They are usually made of acrylic or a combination of cobalt-chrome metal and acrylic, and fitted to the specific patient. Partial dentures are designed to fill the gap created by missing teeth, and are not permanently fixed to the mouth.


2. Bridges
Dental bridges are permanent replacements for missing teeth. Functionally, bridges restore your natural bite and prevent movement of adjacent teeth, including over-eruption of the tooth opposite the gap. They can be viewed as crowns that are joined together and cemented on the supporting teeth, with a fixed false tooth in-between to fill the gap where a tooth is missing. They are a very desirable alternative to a removable partial denture.


3. Implants
An implant consists of a titanium screw that is gently placed into your jaw. This planted screw becomes the anchor for a single crown, a bridge, or to hold a denture in place. Dental implants are fixed to the bone through “osseo-integration”, meaning it becomes integrated into the jaw bone as bone grows around it. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic with addition of sedation if required, and is one of the more preferred methods to replace a missing tooth.