Sometimes a patient runs out of options. When a tooth is particularly troubling, too decayed or broken, there may be no other solution than to have it removed. Sometimes, poor dental hygiene takes its toll and the natural consequence is the loss of a tooth. Sometimes, people are just unlucky and have their teeth knocked out accidentally. But, whatever the cause, missing teeth can be far more dangerous than just an unsightly inconvenience, as they are often the cause of more serious dental problems.
It may just look like a harmless gap that serves to be merely an almost constant source of embarrassment but there is more to it than immediately meets the eye and if a missing tooth is ignored for too long, it could have a much more negative impact on the rest of your teeth. While there may not be any immediately visible problems, the adjacent teeth may begin to move into the gap and become crooked, while the overall strength of your teeth as a whole could also suffer. Food is also more likely to get stuck in the additional gaps, increasing the chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease, but this can all be avoided if the problem of any missing teeth is acknowledged and dealt with immediately.
Fortunately, there are several different ways to deal with a missing tooth and by consulting your dentist you will be able to find out which ones are the best for you. These include:
Dentures are prosthetic frames that are made to resemble gums and house false teeth. They can be used to replace any number of teeth, from a single missing tooth to an entire set. Dentures are made to fit easily into the mouth and are held in place by suction, while they can also be removed easily at any time. Dentures can take some getting used to and are not particularly comfortable, but they are a quick, simple, affordable solution that is usually the most popular choice for the majority of people facing tooth loss.
A more permanent solution is to have false teeth implanted into your mouth. The implants themselves are titanium screws that are drilled and fitted directly into the bone under anaesthetic and once they are sufficiently integrated, the false teeth are attached to the screws. Implants are very healthy and can even help strengthen the jawbone – but the real advantage is that they look and feel like real teeth. Of course, this means that they need to be cleaned and looked after like real teeth too.
If you are only missing one or two teeth then a dental bridge might be the best option for you. They are also a permanent solution, but instead of inserting implants, the false teeth are attached to the natural teeth adjacent to the gap and then cemented into place. These too require cleaning and constant care but provide a long-term solution that will prevent any further problems related to tooth loss.
Sam Reynolds for Pittville Lawn Dental Practice