Teeth can be replaced by Bridges, Dentures or Implants.
A bridge is a replacement for one or more missing teeth. It is a good solution if you don’t have many missing teeth, or if your missing teeth are all on one side of your mouth. It is important to replace missing teeth to prevent your remaining teeth from drifting into the empty space, as well as to restore the function and the appearance of your smile.
What is a bridge?
A bridge is made up of two or more crowns that fit to teeth on either side of the gap, which serve as anchors, along with a false tooth in-between.
How is a bridge fitted?
We will carefully examine your teeth and jaw at your first appointment to evaluate the best course of action. If you have strong enough teeth with good bone support then a bridge could be an option to restore your smile.
Your teeth will be prepared so that the bridge will fit: the teeth either side of the gap need to be reduced in size to fit the fixings and accommodate the bridge comfortably.
An impression of your teeth is taken and used to build a bridge that looks natural and matches your mouth exactly. The bridge will be made from metal and porcelain or all ceramic , and the replacement tooth that’s fixed between your bridge will be colour-matched to the rest of your teeth. While your bridge is being made, your dentist may fit a temporary bridge or crown to protect the exposed gum and teeth.
When the bridge is ready, it will be fitted carefully at our practice by your dentist, who will make sure it is comfortable before it is fixed in place.
Bridges have the disadvantage that the teeth underneath may be difficult to clean, can get decay or may need Root Canal Treatment.
How do I look after my bridge?
You will need to clean your bridge and the false tooth or teeth it supports every day. Your dentist will show you how to use a special floss called Super Floss to ensure your bridge is thoroughly clean.
If you are missing several teeth or a full arch of your teeth, dentures can be used to replace the function and appearance of your natural teeth. We create dentures that are comfortable and natural looking, and we will take the time in our surgery to discuss all the options with you. If you would like a removable solution to restore your smile, dentures could be ideal for you.
It is important to replace missing teeth, even if just one is missing. If left untreated, your chewing and speaking will be affected, as additional strain is put on teeth either side of the gap, and your bite can become misaligned. The missing teeth and bone can also cause your face to sag and look older, and you could end up losing further teeth.
What are the advantages of dentures?
There are a number of benefits to choosing dentures to replace your missing teeth.
- You will have a full, natural-looking smile
- Dentures are durable
- They enable you to eat more foods and speak comfortably
- They can easily be removed
- They give support to any remaining teeth
How do dentures work?
There are three solutions available:
Complete dentures replace a full arch if you have lost all of your teeth. An acrylic or metal plastic base, coloured to match your gums, with a full set of teeth usually made from resin, fits over your own gums. Your dentist will take precise measurements of your mouth, which will be given to a dental technician who will custom-make your dentures so that they fit snugly over your gums and jawbone. Your dentist will make sure your dentures are comfortable, and advise you on how to clean them and the best methods for keeping them securely in place.
Partial dentures replace one or more teeth, and are used if you still have some of your own teeth. The replacement teeth are specially created to fit the gaps you have, and to blend in with your remaining teeth. These are fixed to a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth to hold in place.
Implant retained dentures are a more permanent solution for partial or complete dentures. Denture stabilisation uses implants to secure the dentures in place. Implants are small titanium screws that are placed permanently in the jawbone and act in place of your tooth’s natural root. Implant retained dentures offer a number of benefits over removable dentures:
- They fit securely to your gums
- They feel less intrusive
- They look and feel like real, natural teeth
- It’s easier to bite and chew with them
- Implants stimulate bone growth
It can take a while to get used to your new dentures, but modern dentures are more comfortable and natural looking than ever.
How do I look after my dentures?
Dentures must be looked after as if they were your natural teeth. Plaque can develop on dentures in much the same way as it can on natural teeth, which can put you at risk of gum disease.
With removable dentures, we recommend you take them out and clean them thoroughly with a soft brush. They should then be rinsed and soaked overnight in a denture cleaner.
Remember to keep your mouth clean too, by gently brushing your gums and tongue with a soft brush and rising with a mouthwash