Bridges, implants and dentures are all methods to replace extracted or missing teeth. This might be necessary due to a trauma, excessive wear or defects.
A bridge may replace one or more missing teeth. The method uses the teeth either side of the gap as anchors for the bridge. This means that the adjacent teeth need to be strong and have good bone support. The adjacent teeth are first prepared and a crown is placed over each adjacent tooth with the artificial tooth (or teeth) permanently joined in the middle.
An implant is a fixed artificial tooth to replace a missing tooth. It consists of a crown attached to a titanium screw. As with your natural teeth, the implant is supported by the jaw. Modern methods mean that implants look extremely natural. They are made so that the gum line surrounds the base of the tooth. The implanted teeth are strong, long lasting and look and feel natural.
These are the traditional method for replacing missing teeth. They can be fixed or removable and can replace single, multiple or even a full set of teeth. Dentures are less expensive than bridges or implants. They may be favoured by some patients for budgetary reasons or to replace a large number of teeth.
Three types of dentures are now available:
- Cobalt chromium metal dentures – these can be smaller, stronger and are very durable
- Acrylic dentures – these are plastic dentures with clasps and are less expensive
- Valplast – these are plastic dentures without metal wires so they look nicer
Dr St George will discuss the most appropriate option for you and your circumstances.