Muirhead and Associates Dental Practice – Shipley – Directions

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What are the options to replace a missing gap?

Options available for those who have missing teeth

When it comes to missing teeth, there are several options available to replace the gap and restore the functionality and aesthetics of a person’s smile. These options range from removable prosthetics to permanent dental implants, each with its own advantages and considerations. Here are some common alternatives for individuals with missing teeth:

1. Do nothing

Do nothing is one of the options to replace a missing gap. When it comes to dental health, sometimes it may seem like taking action is always the best course of action. However, in certain scenarios, doing nothing can also be a valid choice.

When a tooth is lost or extracted, there are various reasons why someone might choose not to replace it. One reason could be financial constraints. Dental treatments can be quite expensive, and not everyone may have the means to afford a replacement option at the time. Another may be that the missing tooth is a back tooth which people can’t see and you may get used to this gap, as you have the surrounding teeth to still chew food.

2. A denture

A denture is one of the most common options available to replace a missing gap in the mouth. It is a removable dental appliance that can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Dentures are made from a combination of materials, including acrylic and metal, and are custom-made to fit comfortably in the patient’s mouth.

There are two main types of dentures: complete dentures and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all teeth in either the upper or lower jaw are missing, while partial dentures are used when only a few teeth are missing.

3. A Dental Bridge

A dental bridge is an option to consider when replacing a missing gap in the mouth. It is a fixed dental restoration that literally bridges the gap between two teeth, hence its name. The bridge consists of two or more crowns on either side of the gap, known as abutment teeth, with a false tooth in between, called a pontic. The positive of a dental bridge is it looks good, feels good, and is fixed in place. The negative is you have to damage the adjacent teeth to fix this in place. 

4. Implant

One of the most popular options to replace a missing gap is through the use of dental implants. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically inserted into the jawbone, providing a stable foundation for replacement teeth.

The process of getting a dental implant begins with an evaluation by a qualified dentist or oral surgeon. They will assess the patient’s oral health and determine if they are a suitable candidate for the procedure. Factors such as gum disease, bone density, and overall health will be taken into consideration. 

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