4 Options for a Missing Tooth

4 Options for a Missing Tooth

You may have unfortunately lost a tooth due to an accident, failed root canal treatment or gum disease. In today’s modern society, there are a range of options, but not all are created equal!

Option 1: Do nothing

Pros:

  • The only benefit of this option is that you won’t be spending any money. The consequences associated with this are significant.

Cons:

  • When there’s a gap in your teeth - the surrounding teeth lean inwards. Your teeth are like books on a bookshelf, when one is removed, the others lean in. This usually happens over a period of 1-5 years.

  • As you eat and chew, because there is an opposing tooth missing, it means that the tooth left on the opposite arch, starts to move down, it hangs down and changes the way you bite which puts everything out of whack and remaining teeth will start to crack and chip. It is a cascade of damaging consequences from here.

  • Another major negative with doing nothing is that you will experience bone loss. Within the first year of losing a tooth 25% of the bone melts away and will continue to do so until something is placed there to stimulate the bone.

 

 

 

 

 

Option 2: Partial Denture

 

Pros:

  • Not an expensive tooth replacement option

Cons:

  • Eating with a denture in, whether full or partial, is not comfortable. Your biting force goes down to 5%. This means things like eating steak, pizza and biting into an apple are pretty difficult and will need to be cut into small pieces.

  • What tends to happen is that people with dentures eat a lot of cake and suck on lollies because they are hungry and this kind of food is soft. Dentures mean changes in diet to softer foods, this can mean poor nutrition and eating baby-style food. It can lead to avoiding social situations and therefore affecting your lifestyle.

  • Wearing a denture is like wearing a wig, it looks fake, it feels fake and comes off. We find that clients feel less confident than having a permanent solution.   

  • Like the ‘do nothing’ option, because there is nothing stable in the bone to stimulate it, bone continues to melt away. Dentures need to be ‘relined’ and replaced periodically because the tissue and bone beneath the surface shrink.

  • Dentures tend to cause sore spots and many patients cannot tolerate wearing them, especially those with high gag reflexes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 3: Bridge

 

Pros:

  • Treatment is relatively quick.

Cons:

  • They rely on two supporting teeth, these teeth are most often - perfectly good, healthy teeth that need to be ground down in order to secure the bridge to fill the gap where the missing tooth is.

  • In the past, this was the most common solution, but what we know today, is that 1 in 5 cases lead to decay within 10-15 years because by luting the adjacent teeth together, it makes them difficult to clean. This can lead to decay, root canal treatment and possibly extraction. A replacement bridge will continue to have the same consequences and usually take another tooth with it every time it’s replaced.

  • The bone loss continues above the site of the bridge because the bone is not stimulated, because nature takes away what is not being used. These means it is unattractive and reduces the ability to place an implant because of the bone that has melted away.

 

Option 4: Implant

An implant is an artificial root made of titanium that the bone accepts and fuses too. The implant is an anchor that holds the replacement tooth in place.

 

Cons:

  • Longer healing time, between 3-6 months

Pros:

  • Good long term success. Dental implants can last a lifetime, if maintained. Dental implants have a long history dating back to 600AD. After much testing with rabbit bone, Dr Branemark discovered the incredible bone fusing properties of titanium. He placed the first titanium implant in a patient in 1952 and the implant lasted the patient the rest of his life which was 50 years.

  • The adjacent teeth don’t end up decaying and the bone is maintained that holds the teeth. It is the most viable and cost-effective long-term solution. It is no longer a treatment option, it’s a primary method of care.

  • Dental implants stop the bone loss because the bone is stimulated by having something there.

  • Biting force remains strong and therefore diet doesn’t often change which means good nutrition.

  • Implants look natural and feel natural.

 

 

 

In a time where age outlasts health - implants are not a luxury, they’re a standard of care.

It’s about eating good food, enjoying it, socialising, being healthy and living your best life! If you lose a tooth, the best thing to do is to have an implant.

 

Our practice has a success rate of 98% from cases performed over that past 12 years. Find out about our implant process here. It’s important to go to someone who is trained and knowledgeable to perform this treatment predictably. Dr See is highly experienced and qualified. He is meticulous, passionate and dedicated to his profession and his patients. View his training and credentials here. 

 

We welcome you to get in touch on 98164885 and see how we can help you.

2019 by Advanced Dentistry Sydney (formerly See The Dentist).

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