Multiple Tooth Loss And Replacement Techniques
Addlestone implant dentist, Dr Andrew Gough, explains your options following the loss of several teeth
Tooth loss is not uncommon. For most people that lose teeth, it is usually the odd one or two, perhaps caused by an accident rather than poor oral health care. This is not the same for everyone though and some people can suffer from numerous oral health problems or have a traumatic accident that results in the loss of a significant number of teeth.
When this happens, few of us would choose to leave large spaces where our teeth should be. Whilst we could, perhaps, ‘hide’ a single missing tooth (though we recommend that you don’t do that) if it was a less visible one, this becomes next to impossible when multiple teeth are missing.
What are the options then, for any of our Addlestone patients that find themselves in this situation?
Seek professional advice
It should go without saying, but if you are looking for the best way to replace missing teeth, then you shouldn’t rely on searching the internet. Although there is some good advice available there, there is also a lot that isn’t, and even the best advice can not take account of your own individual circumstances. In order to make the correct decision as to the best tooth replacement method available to you, a visit to the Synergy Clinic to discuss your case with us is essential. We will then be able to examine your mouth and discuss your aims and any other relevant information such as your medical history, so that the correct treatment can be recommended.
There are essentially three solutions available to you if you have lost a number of consecutive teeth. Each has its advantages and disadvantages which we will look at now.
This is probably still the most widely used solution for this situation. One of its main advantages is that it often doesn’t require an invasive dental procedure which may be an advantage for our more nervous patients. Some patients do find dentures to be inconvenient though, with some noting occasional lapses in stability too. Although we understand the appeal due to the non invasive nature of this option, we recommend discussing this with our local team and not rule out other solutions.
This option does provide a higher degree of strength and stability than dentures, but unlike dentures, it also often requires an invasive treatment. The bridge of replacement teeth is fixed into the mouth by the crowns at each end of the bridge. In turn these are attached to the natural teeth at either side of the gap where they are going to be placed. In order to do this, the dentist will have to shape these natural teeth to ensure that the crowns fit securely; so some natural tooth material is removed.
You may have seen promotional material at our friendly Addlestone clinic but not been really sure what implants were? This is a good example of a situation where they would be an excellent option. Although many people think of dental implants as individual replacements for each tooth, a reduced number can also be used where multiple adjacent teeth are missing and there is no need to replace each missing tooth individually.
This procedure is sometimes referred to as ‘all on 4’ or ‘teeth in a day’. Instead of replacing each missing tooth with an individual implant, a reduced number of implants can be placed which are then used to secure a fixed bridge of replacement teeth. This sometimes allows the treatment to be carried out and the bridge fitted in just a single visit to the dentist. You can actually walk into a dental clinic with multiple teeth missing and then walk out a little later with a full set of functional new teeth!
Unlike with individual implants, there is no need to wait for 3 months to allow the implants to fully integrate with the jaw. This is due to a special type of implant that is often used which provides strength and stability quickly. In theory, you can eat normally straight away but we strongly recommend that you start with softer foods for your own comfort. We will discuss this, and other aspects such as aftercare, with you during your consultation.
It is true that teeth implants are a more expensive option initially, but they have been shown to be cost effective due to their longevity. We also offer a selection of payment plans that will enable you to spread the cost of your treatment as well.
If you would like to discuss your teeth replacement options with us, we are always happy to arrange a consultation with you to do that. You can book yours by calling the Synergy Clinic today on 01932 856541.