Despite advances in modern dentistry, teeth may still need to be removed if they are damaged beyond repair. Tooth removal is a perfectly safe procedure and performed by millions of dentists around the world. In the event of damage and decay beyond repair, you have a number of options for replacement.
An implant is a titanium fixture that attaches to the bone, acting as a replacement root for a tooth. The implant has an abutment which connects the implant to crowns, bridges or dentures. In certain situations implants can be placed at the time of tooth removal, or even fitted with an immediate restoration meaning the treatment time is reduced. This is commonly known as ‘teeth in a day’ or ‘same day smile.’ Implants are relatively new in dentistry, but reliable data tells us they are very predictable and long lasting when done correctly. Like teeth, implants can be susceptible to gum problems so they need regular dental visits and excellent oral hygiene habits.
A bridge is a fixed restoration that connects the teeth adjacent to a gap together with false teeth between them. Bridges are less popular these days as they involve trimming down teeth which creates a risk of tooth decay. In cases where large gaps have been restored with complicated and long span bridges, any remedial work becomes very expensive. In some situations it is possible to make bridges that involve only minimal preparation of the teeth, therefore decreasing the risks. However, these minimal preparation bridges can sometimes come out and need reinstalling.
Dentures are removable devices made of acrylic or metal. The primary benefit of dentures is flexibility, the dentures can be easily removed for cleaning and sleeping. They are less popular with the public these days because generally people prefer fixed teeth, although dentures can be very useful and economical in cases where there are a number of gaps to fill or you prefer to avoid the surgery needed to place a dental implant. Dentures can move around during eating and cause plaque build up therefore create an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay. They need regular relines to keep them fitting well and generally need replacing after around 5 years due to wearing down of the artificial teeth.
Of course, there is always the option of doing nothing and leaving a gap, but this is not always acceptable to patients with regard to aesthetics or function. In addition, over time the teeth next to a gap or opposite to a gap can drift and tilt, causing problems with the bite and making treatment to replace the missing tooth more complicated and expensive. For this reason it is always worth considering replacement at the time the tooth is removed.
Whichever option you choose will depend on a number of factors, including your general health, the number of missing teeth you have, any personal preferences and budget.
At The Briars, we understand that it is very upsetting to lose a tooth. Our dentists are highly experienced in all the different methods of tooth replacement, and will take the time to find out what is the most appropriate one for you. A free preliminary consultation is available so if you are missing any teeth and would like to discuss this with one of our dentists, please do feel free to contact us.Go Back