The Effects of Missing Teeth

Lets talk about doing nothing. There are various options available for tooth replacement including the option to do absolutely nothing. This may sound like a nice easy option. You may think that if you cant see the gap then it doesn’t matter. This is a very widespread misconception. There are some instances in which a missing tooth does not cause any repercussions, for example the extraction or the lack of wisdom teeth. In fact, we often recommend the removal of impacted or decayed wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth are usually so far back that they can be very difficult to clean, clinically restore and maintain. They often have a poor long term prognosis. Other issues that may result from the presence of wisdom teeth, fully erupted or otherwise, may include the lack the space to erupt in line with the other teeth. It is also important to consider that wisdom teeth have become almost redundant due various factors such as lifestyle and facial structure changes over the years. Evolution has begun to show in increased prevalence of these teeth disappearing from genetic lines.

So, what about our other teeth? The other teeth are often functional teeth. This means that their presence, when aligned well, are required for optimal functionality and aesthetics, as well as good jaw and muscle health. Did you know that a missing tooth can can cause headaches and pain in your Tempo-Mandibular Joint (jaw joint)? Did you know it could affect your sleep? When you are missing a functional tooth, in particular a back tooth (molar), this may affect how you use that side of your mouth. Just as you experience neck pain from sleeping crooked, your jaw muscles may experience pain from using the muscles incorrectly.

Another consequence of a missing tooth is a change in your jaw’s natural closing position. Your body and oral environment are highly sensitive to change. Even the slightest change can cause issues. When you remove a tooth, your bite may change causing undue pressure on other teeth. This can lead to sensitivity issues as bruising may occur from unnatural high spots.

There are many pressures in your mouth and jaw that we take for granted. Apart from unique oral environments, we also have unique chewing pressures. When a back tooth is missing, the pressure on the adjacent teeth is increased. This can lead to fractures, chipping and other long term damage to your other healthy teeth.

Aesthetics too, can be very important. After all, our smile is the first thing people see and may affect our confidence. It is expected that over time, drifting or over eruption of adjacent/opposing teeth may occur. Drifting teeth is when the neighbouring teeth drift or tilt into the gap which may cause discomfort, food impaction and losing the option to replace the tooth into the future. Over eruption occurs over time causing the opposite tooth to grow into the space caused by the missing tooth.

In these circumstances, tooth replacement may still be an option however assessment by one of our dentists will be required to identify your potential options. Get in to see your dentist if you have a missing tooth and avoid having to deal with unnecessary future complications. We offer treatments such as partial and full dentures, ceramic bridges and implants. Assessment is simple and non-invasive and you can also discuss payment plans with one of our friendly healthcare professionals. In the meantime, why not check out our post “Tooth Replacement Options” for more information.

Dental Implants here and now

Advancements in dentistry has come a very long way over the last 15 years. Implants have become an accessible high quality solution for permanent tooth replacement. Whether it is to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or even a full implant denture, we can do it. Over the years not only has it become more affordable, but they can even be done as an immediate replacement. This means that we can remove a tooth and immediately insert an implant. While the time from implant insertion to the capping of the implant with the replacement tooth may take several months, it is certainly the superior choice.

There are instances in which an implant is not suitable. In order to be suitable for an implant there needs to be both good bone levels and enough space for the implant. Your dentist will be able to determine this through a simple non-invasive assessment and a couple of xrays. There are also some medical conditions where an implant would not be recommended and your dentist can help with determining this. Longevity of any dental treatment cannot be predicted although the success rate of implants is incredibly high.

If you are suitable for an implant, the process is really quite simple. The first step will be to take some impressions of the implant site and to have your unique implant components manufactured. You will then be booked in for an hour long appointment during which your implant is inserted and a cap placed on top for healthy healing. This will stay in place for several months during which your dentist will monitor the progress of your healing.

When the time is right, you will be booked in for a set of impressions to be taken to manufacture your implant crown. This is the false tooth that is cemented to the implant. Once the replacement tooth is ready, you will have a short 30 minute appointment to have it fitted. And voila! You have a new, false tooth that is almost undetectable to the naked eye. Best of all, it costs approximately the same as a bridge. Interest-free payment plans are available for all treatments that we offer. Call us to arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your options.

The types of dentures

So it is time to talk about replacing missing teeth. Removable Dentures are the most well known form of tooth replacement. They can be made as a partial denture, or a full denture.  A complete denture replaces an entire arch. A partial denture is where as little as one tooth is being replaced. Dentures can also be made from 3 different materials. Acrylic, Chrome Cobalt and Valplast.

Acrylic Dentures

The most affordable material that a denture can be made from is Acrylic. It is worn over the gums and is held in place by a suction fit and clasps. There are various advantages of opting for the Acrylic denture including its ease of fit and adjustability. This material however can damage the natural teeth around which the denture is fit.

Acrylic dentures are a good option in the event that you intend to add teeth to the denture in the future. They look natural with their pinkish gum like colour and colour matched false teeth. The downside of these dentures is that they are bulkier as they rely on suction for adhesion.

Your dentist will need to ensure that your gum health is optimal for a denture, and your treatment should be planned with this in mind. When other teeth also require restorative treatment, this must be considered to ensure that the denture is done at the right stage of your treatment plan. The last thing you want is for your denture to become ill fitting as a result of poor planning.

Valplast Dentures

A superior alternative to the traditional type of Acrylic denture is the flexible Valplast denture. This type of denture also relies on suction to a certain extent, although mainly relies on it elastic properties and its fit between the remaining teeth. This material is less bulky and maintains strength even in its thinnest areas. They are also significantly lighter than the other materials.

As with any type of denture, it is imperative that your dentist has assessed your overall oral health to ensure that your denture is planned around any other treatment that may be required, in the present or the future. The disadvantage of this type of denture is that you cannot add teeth to it in the future due to the way in which it is manufactured.

Chrome Cobalt Dentures

This is the least bulky of the materials. Chrome Cobalt dentures are more versatile and are often the most durable. The false teeth are created and attached to a Chrome Cobalt framework. The technicians and the dentists require great skills to manufacture this denture due to its intricacies. Your dentist will assess the health and stability of the anchor teeth prior to considering this type of denture as it is the intention that your denture will last you up to 10 years. Other important aspects of assessment include your gum health and pending treatment that may be required for any of your remaining teeth.

Summary

Dentures are a more affordable reliable and fast option for tooth replacement. Both your dentist and their carefully selected lab technicians are critical components of ensuring the right solution is chosen for your case and that its fit is optimal. It is important however that you have asked about your options apart from dentures to ensure that both your comfort and satisfaction are achieved.

Talk about tooth replacement!

Considering tooth replacement? There are many reasons to replace a missing tooth. You can also refer to our article on “The Effects of Missing Teeth” for more information on why tooth replacement is an time-sensitive and critical consideration for you. However, lets explore the various options of replacing missing teeth that may exist in your case.

The most common forms of tooth replacement are removable dentures, bridges and implants. While the three options are made of different materials, have different preparation techniques, differ in treatment time required and vary in cost, they are functionally required to fill a gap between teeth where a tooth is supposed to be or may have been in the past.

We will explore one at a time.

Removable Dentures

Removable Dentures are the most well known form of tooth replacement. They can be made as a partial denture, or a full denture.  A complete denture replaces an entire arch. A partial denture is where as little as one tooth is being replaced. Dentures can also be made from 3 different materials. Acrylic, Chrome Cobalt and Valplast. See more here.

Dentures are a more affordable reliable and fast option for tooth replacement. Both your dentist and their carefully selected lab technicians are critical components of ensuring the right solution is chosen for your case and that its fit is optimal. It is important however that you have asked about your options apart from dentures to ensure that both your comfort and satisfaction are achieved.

Ceramic Bridge

A ceramic bridge is a great option when there is a natural tooth on either side of your missing tooth/teeth. This form of tooth replacement relies on the bridging of a false tooth anchored by a crown on either side that is cemented to natural teeth on either side. This means that the restoration is a single unit that joins multiple teeth. The natural teeth that anchor the bridge require preparation by trimming the circumference to allow for the crown to be placed over it like a cap. See more here.

Implants

Advancements in dentistry has come a very long way over the last 15 years. Implants have become an accessible high quality solution for permanent tooth replacement. Whether it is to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or even a full implant denture, we can do it. Over the years not only has it become more affordable, but they can even be done as an immediate replacement. This means that we can remove a tooth and immediately insert an implant. While the time from implant insertion to the capping of the implant with the replacement tooth may take several months, it is certainly the superior choice. See more here.

Call us to arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your options.

 

Will my child need braces?

Firstly, what is orthodontics? Orthodontics is the study and treatment of irregularities in teeth and jaws. This involves high level assessments and management strategies that involve the application of physics associated with moving teeth in a 3 dimensional level and the growth of the jaw.

Interceptive orthodontics can be confused with being a preventative form of orthodontics. It is only suitable for children aged between approximately 3 and 13 years old. It is used as a means of preventing further foreseeable alignment and bone growth issues. In some cases where interceptive orthodontics has been recommended but was not completed, complex surgical corrective procedures may be prescribed late in life. It is more economical, comfortable and simpler to proceed with interceptive orthodontics than it is to wait and manage the mature bone and adult teeth, later.

If you are concerned about the development of your child’s jaws and teeth, it is recommended that you contact us as early as possible for an assessment.

Gum Disease and Genetics

You may or may not be aware, gum disease is influenced by genetics. It is a hereditary condition that can be prevented with attentive oral health care. So, what does gum disease look like, and might you be at risk?

Gum disease is may present noticable symptoms such as redness and swelling of gums, bleeding, soreness, loosening teeth and receding gum lines. A very serious symptom that may be harder to identify is bone loss. Dentists are able to identify the symptoms and the potential aggregators of the disease, although they may differ from person to person.

Anyone can be affected and everyone can work on preventing it. Regular scale and cleans by a qualified dentist are a must. Dentists are able to clean below the gum line and identify the spots that are high risk. They may also prescribe management techniques or treatments to aid the improvement or maintenance of good overall oral health. Regular brushing and flossing with good technique is critical to managing your overall oral health and is paramount to preventing gum disease.

If you have not seen a dentist within the last 6 months or have any concerns regarding your oral health, contact us to arrange an appointment with a highly skilled and professional doctor.

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