Dealing With Tooth Loss
A Bedford dentist looks at how this impacts our life and the options available for replacement
With good care, and perhaps a bit of good luck too, it is entirely possible to go through life never losing an adult tooth.
Few people are this fortunate though and most of us will probably lose at least one tooth at some point in our life. This can happen through neglect or even an accident that we have no control over. Whatever the reason, it can have a big impact on our life.
Where a front tooth is lost, the gap will be visible for all to see. Few people will leave this gap and will look at ways to replace the missing tooth. But even the loss of a rear tooth can have an effect and can cause us to use other teeth to perform its role, potentially causing premature wear elsewhere in the mouth.
Whether your missing tooth leaves you with a ‘gappy smile’, potentially affecting your confidence, or means that you find eating some foods more difficult than before, it is always advisable to replace the tooth using artificial means. In today’s post, we will look at some of the treatment options that are available at The Dental Centre Bedford
Dentures have been the ‘go to’ method of tooth replacement for some time now. Over the years they have improved, both in comfort and in appearance. Although they do not usually require dental surgery to be fitted, a factor which may tempt more anxious patients, it is not uncommon for wearers to become dissatisfied with them as they can cause soreness of the gums and may also move around in the mouth a little, creating problems when eating or speaking.
For this reason, a growing number of people are moving away from wearing dentures and opting for more secure methods instead.
A more secure option than dentures is the bridge. As the name suggests, this allows the fitting of a replacement tooth ‘bridged’ between the adjacent teeth. This does secure the replacement tooth and makes eating much easier. It does have a few potential drawbacks though, for example, a bridge can typically only be used where there are teeth adjacent to the gap. This means that one of the most common teeth to be lost, the very back teeth which take a lot of strain and are more difficult to clean, can’t be replaced using this method.
To fit the crowns that will secure the bridge, the teeth have to be shaped so that the crowns will fit securely. Understandably, some patients are reluctant to have this done to teeth that are otherwise healthy.
As with dentures, cleaning the replacement tooth and surrounding areas can be a little tricky, but it is of course, still very important.
In our opinion, dental implants offer the best option for most patients. We will always discuss with you and examine your teeth and gums to make sure that you are a suitable candidate before going ahead with the procedure. Although the placing of dental implants does require an invasive procedure, and often a few months of care following placement, the long term benefits are definitely worth it. A healthy dental implant can stand as much pressure as a natural tooth and means that you won’t have to worry whether your new tooth will be able to bite or chew a particular food.
Because implants replace not only the crown, but the root of the tooth too, it is very secure and will not move around in the mouth at all. In addition to this, compared to the shorter lifespan of both dentures and bridges, dental implants have excellent longevity, often lasting for around 25 years or more, providing that good care is taken.
On this last point, it is worth stating that cleaning with teeth implants is easy to do after the initial osseointegration period, which is usually around 3 months. After this, you just brush your teeth and floss between them as you would a natural tooth. Despite the fact that the crown part of the replacement tooth is artificial and can’t decay, it is very important to avoid gum disease as this can cause serious issues for your implant.
It is true that dental implants are more expensive than dentures and bridges, but the benefits are well worth it and you will also not need to replace them periodically like you will with dentures. To help our Bedford patients with the cost of implant placement, we offer a range of payment plans that allow you to spread the cost over a period of time.
If you would like to find out more about our latest teeth implants or have a question about them that you would like answered, please call The Dental Centre Bedford on 01234 819868.