If it gets to the stage that a tooth becomes no longer viable and needs to be extracted there are a number of options available to ensure that you are not left with an unsightly gap. If the tooth is not visible when you smile and talk and is not needed when you eat it may be possible to leave the gap.
1. Leave it
The dentist will continue to monitor the gap each time you attend for a routine appointment and will monitor the teeth around the gap to ensure that they do not move of twist into the gap as this can lead to problems in the way that your teeth bite together. You may also find that you have problems with food becoming trapped in the gap which can cause discomfort and potentially decay in the remaining teeth.
2. A Denture
Whether you have just one missing tooth or several it is possible for the dentist to create a denture to fill the gap or gaps. Dentures can be made of acrylic or metal and may be fastened to your natural teeth using a clasp or clasps which can help to make the denture more secure. Dentures are custom made to fit securely round your gums, allowing you to eat comfortably, speak clearly and will help to improve your confidence and self-esteem.
Dentures can be fitted straight after the tooth is extracted, so you will not have to worry about having a visible gap. However over time your gums will shrink so it may become necessary to reline or remake your dentures at a later time. Once made, dentures can be expected to last about 5-7 years.
3. A Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is created by putting crowns on the teeth remaining on either side of the gap. These are then joined together using a false tooth or teeth. They are created based on impressions taken of your mouth. These are then sent to the technician to create a custom made bridge. The bridge will be cemented in place using a strong adhesive and once in place cannot be removed. A bridge should last around 5 – 7 years after which time it will need to be replaced.
A bridge is only possible if the teeth surrounding the gap are healthy and strong as they must be able to support one or more false teeth. Bridges are made of all white ceramic materials so will match closely the natural colour of your teeth. The downside to a bridge is that it is necessary to damage healthy teeth which can in turn fail causing the bridge to fail. This may mean in the long run you may become left with more gaps.
A dental implant is used to support one or more false teeth. A titanium screw is placed into the jaw and this is used to anchor a crown or dentures. Implants are a well-established treatment which have grown in popularity over the past few years and if cared for appropriately should last as long as they are properly cared for.
A complete assessment of your mouth will need to be carried out to determine whether you have sufficient bone in your jaw to support an implant. If there is not enough or the bone is not sufficiently healthy it may not be possible to place the implant without grafting bone to the area.
It will take about 3-4 months from the point the implant is fitted to being able to fit the final restoration as this gives time for the bone to heal around the titanium screw.
So why wait any longer, call The Essex Smile Centre today on 01268 742 333 and come and find out what the best solution is to fill your gap or gaps and give yourself a smile you can be proud of.