Your appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by a missing tooth can mean greater strain is put on the teeth at either side.
A gap can also mean your “bite” is affected, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to jaw joint problems.
How are missing teeth replaced?
This depends on the number of teeth missing and on where they are in the mouth. The condition of the other teeth also affects the decision. There are three ways to replace the missing teeth.
The first is with a removable false tooth or teeth, a partial denture. The second way is with a fixed bridge. A bridge is usually used where the gap borders to solid teeth, which have already crowns or large fillings.
The third way is with an (root) implant and a crown.
Can I have a bridge fitted straight after having a tooth removed?
In many people it can take up to 6 months for the gums to heal properly after and extraction. This means that you may need to have a temporary denture for 6 months before the bridge is fitted.
What are bridges made of?
Bridges usually made of porcelain bonded to metal or Zirconia (high strength ceramic) or entirely metallic.
What is an adhesive bridge?
Adhesive bridges require much less preperation to the supporting teeth. In some cases no preperation is required at all. They are cemented or glued in place using special dental cements (glues). The disadvantage of adhesive bridges is that they carry a higher risk of coming off. The main advantage is that they require much less tooth preperation which means the supporting teeth are preserved.
An example of the the adhesive bridge can be seen below:
What will a bridge cost?
Cost will vary according to the size and type of bridge you need. Always get a written estimate and treatment plan before beginning any dental treatment.
How do I look after my bridge?
You need to clean your bridge every day, to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. You also have to clean under the false tooth every day.
Our dentist or hygienist will show you how to use a special brush and floss, as a normal toothbrush cannot reach all areas.
Can I have teeth which attach to the jawbone?
Yes. By having implants. The success of this technique means you may be able to replace missing teeth without crowning other teeth.
See our implant section for more details. Remember that it is as important to care for your remaining teeth as it is to replace the missing ones.