If you have missing a tooth, it is important that you get it replaced and the implications are not just aesthetic. As well as affecting how your smile looks, a missing tooth can put strain on the other teeth as your chewing action changes and the extra space can also encourage your remaining teeth to grow crookedly. Obviously, this will exacerbate the strain on those teeth and cause more problems in the longer term. A missing tooth can also affect your speech.
A dental bridge is essentially just a false tooth to replace a missing one. The reason it is called a bridge is because it is anchored in place against two crowns on either side. These crowns then attach to the existing teeth (or implants, if required), so a bridge is formed. It should function just as well as your natural teeth.
As well as enhancing your facial shape and smile aesthetics, your dental bridge will also have implications for your oral health. If you do not replace missing teeth, food can gather in the gap and attract the bacteria that cause halitosis and tooth decay. By filling in the gap, your teeth become easier to clean.
To replace your lost teeth, you have a variety of choices to choose from, ranging from short-term to long-term fixes.
As with any medical procedures, any dental treatment options procedures in replacing missing teeth, carries risks, some minor and some serious. Some are remote possibility and some are closer possibility. If we suspect that you will have any of the risk mentioned below, we will inform you during your consultation or before you make a decision to go ahead with the treatment to help you fully informed.
You should consider these minimal risks and potential side effects involved with these different treatment options. Although these are not life-threatening with proper care, they can be avoided.
Tooth bridges, implants and dentures are all dental solutions for the replacement of missing teeth. Each offers advantages and disadvantages over the others, which we have summarised below.
Dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone, where your tooth root would have been. They are usually made from titanium, a very strong material which is biocompatible with our bodies (meaning there should be no allergic reaction or rejection of the implant).
On the downside, implants require some surgery and are more expensive than a bridge fitted over teeth. If you take into account the lifetime cost and inconvenience of replacing your tooth bridge, though, an implant may work out to be a good investment in the long run.
Treatment time is another consideration for some patients. The process for placing a traditional tooth implant takes several months, as the implant needs time to settle and fuse with the bone before the abutment and crown are attached. For some patients this is just too long to wait, so a bridge is the better solution.
Possible Surgical Complications may result from the implant surgery, drugs, and anaesthetics. These complications include, but are not limited to:
Dental implant treatment, like any other dental treatment, carries some risks. However, problems are uncommon, and when they do occur, they are usually minor and quickly resolved.
Because the titanium posts fuse with the bone over time, tooth implants are stable and function like natural teeth. The most common dental implant problem is a failure of the implant and bone to connect. If this happens, an experienced dentist can remove the implant quickly and painlessly. They may be able to install a replacement implant right away or may need to wait a few months for your bone to heal.
This disease can cause damage to the gum tissue and bone surrounding the tooth, increasing the likelihood of dental implants failing. Peri-implantitis can lead to bone loss and implant loosening. If you avoid smoking, live a healthy lifestyle, and practise good oral hygiene, your chances of developing peri-implantitis are greatly reduced. If you do develop dental implant problems as a result of peri-implantitis, your dentist can manage the bone loss and either save or replace your implant.
As with any surgical procedure, there is the possibility of infection affecting dental implants and surrounding tissue. However, dental implant-related infections are uncommon due to the sterile conditions in which dental implant surgery is performed. In most cases, specialists will also prescribe antibiotics after your treatment to reduce your risk of infection around your dental implants.
Because dental implants are surgically implanted into your jaw, there is a small chance that they will cause nerve damage during treatment. This unusual dental implant issue can cause pain, numbness, or tingling in the lips, teeth, gums, or chin. Dental specialists can efficiently determine the size of implant to use by thoroughly examining the precise position of your nerves. This means they can effectively avoid contact with the nerve and eliminate the possibility of injury from your dental implants.
If you have gum disease prior to surgery, you are more likely to have dental implant treatment complications. Periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease, may cause bone damage, decreasing the likelihood that your treatment will be effective.
Bacteria eat away at the connective tissues on tooth roots, destroying gums and weakening bones. To ensure that your final result is not harmed by gum disease, a dental professional will always treat it before beginning dental implant therapy.
You will most likely be eligible for a dental implant if you have a reasonably strong jaw bone, do not have periodontitis (gum disease), and do not smoke.
Age does not matter. Smoking, illnesses including diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area, however, have all been linked to poorer implant success rates.
If you are not a good candidate for dental implant, can not have surgical procedure or doesn’t like any surgery and is looking for a more affordable options to dental implants, then your other option will be Dental bridge. or dentures.
A dental bridge offers a great permanent solution to replace your missing teeth and restore your facial appearance, proper function of your mouth and overall dental health.
A traditional bridge is a device that consists of two crowns placed over two adjacent neighboring teeth and an artificial tooth in between them to fill in the gap of the missing tooth.
Traditional tooth bridges use the adjacent teeth as anchors for the prosthesis. There are two ways to fit a bridge to the existing teeth: fixed or bonded.
A fixed bridge is the most common type of dental bridge as it provides a strong, durable way to replace one or two adjacent teeth.
The prosthesis used for a fixed bridge consists of a crown on either side and one or two pontics (artificial teeth) in the middle. The crowns are hollow and fit over the neighbouring teeth to secure the bridge in place.
Similar to a traditional dental bridge, a cantilever bridge is attached via a crown on just one of the adjacent teeth. This type of bridge might be used when there is only one natural tooth next to a missing tooth.
One benefit of cantilever bridges is they only require one healthy tooth to be drilled into an abutment. On the other hand, they aren’t as strong as a bridge with two supporting crowns. They can place extra pressure on the supporting tooth, leading to more problems later on. As such, cantilever bridges are usually not used in locations that take a lot of pressure from biting and chewing.
When there is only one tooth to replace, your dentist may fit a resin bonded bridge (also called a Maryland bridge).
Rather than being fitted over the adjacent teeth with crowns, this type of bridge has metal or porcelain ‘wings’ on each side which are bonded to the inner edge of the adjacent teeth.
A bonded bridge of course has the advantage of preserving the healthy adjacent teeth. The main downside is that it won’t be as strong as a fixed bridge. Over time the adhesive holding it in place can weaken, causing the bridge to break off or become loose.
With any type of bridge for teeth, it is only the crown of the tooth that is being replaced. The root remains absent, and this can cause the jawbone to recede over time.
Long-term, this may cause sagging around the face. If you choose to have implants at a later date, you may first need a bone graft. This is really the main dental bridge problem that patients need to be aware of.
In order for the crowns to fit properly, the anchor teeth must be filed down from their original size as part of the dental bridge procedure. These two teeth have to be strong enough to support the bridge and take the extra biting pressure.
After preparing the anchor teeth, the next step in the dental bridge procedure is to take a dental impression. This is sent to a laboratory where your bridge is precisely made to measure. In the meantime, your dentist may provide a temporary dental bridge or crowns to protect the exposed teeth and gums.
Once your permanent bridge is ready from the lab, we will then cement in place your new bridges.
As with any medical procedures, any dental treatment including dental bridges procedure, carries risks, some minor and some serious. Some are remote possibility and some are closer possibility. If we suspect that you will have any of the risk mentioned below, we will inform you during your consultation or before you make a decision to go ahead with the treatment to help you fully informed.
You should consider these minimal risks involved with dental bridges treatment. Although these are not life-threatening with proper care, they can be avoided.
These potential risks and complications, include, but are not limited to, the following:
Dentures are what most people think of as ‘false teeth’. They consist of one or more prosthetic teeth, traditionally fixed to a frame made from plastic and metal which clips around existing teeth. Newer flexible denture materials are also available.
The versatility of dentures means they can be made to fit around any number of remaining healthy teeth.
Although partial denture costs are quite low, making them the most affordable option when it comes to replacing a missing tooth, they are also the least convenient to live with. They require special cleaning, and may become damaged or dislodged by certain foods.
Because of the way our mouths change over time (especially when teeth are missing), dentures may only last for a few years before coming loose. If they are not replaced, they can become uncomfortable and cause mouth sores. There is also a chance of them slipping out mid-conversation.
The attachment and fit of the denture to natural teeth, implants if any, the amount and type of bone, gum tissue, and saliva, as well as the ability to place and remove the denture, all contribute to the denture’s stability and retention.
2. Outward appearance.
Every effort is made to give the denture a natural appearance; however, the denture may not be able to perfectly support the lip and facial contours.
3. Denture discomfort.
Under the denture, there may be gum soreness or discomfort. Adjustments and tissue treatment can help with this. Several appointments may be required before the denture fits comfortably.
4. Denture Comfort.
The new denture may feel awkward for a few weeks while you get used to it, and it may feel loose while your cheek muscles and tongue learn to keep it in place.
5. Lip Numbness.
Pressure from the removable denture may cause this. This issue necessitates selective adjustment, and in rare cases, surgical nerve repositioning.
6. Consistent attention.
Appointments with us are required to maintain good oral health and to ensure that the dentures fit and function properly.
7. Dry Mouth.
Some systemic problems, medication, and/or radiation therapy around the head and neck may reduce saliva production. A lack of saliva may aggravate the irritation caused by a removable denture against the gums.
8. Food Impaction.
There is always some space between the pink acrylic resin portion of the removable denture and the gum tissue. Furthermore, the removable denture is always moving during mastication. Food may accumulate between the denture and the gum tissue as a result of these factors. As a result, it is critical to remove the denture for cleaning on a daily basis. Removable partial dentures with metallic clasps may have additional issues with food retention.
9. Wear and Chipping.
Porcelain denture teeth wear the slowest and have the best stain resistance, but they chip easily. Minor chips can be polished, but larger chips usually necessitate the replacement of the denture’s porcelain tooth. Acrylic resin denture teeth are more resistant to chipping, but they wear out faster than porcelain. If wear has a negative impact on appearance or occlusion, the acrylic resin teeth can be replaced. Chips and cracks in the pink acrylic resin portion of the denture can usually be repaired without having the denture remade. Any of the above will be repaired at an additional cost.
10. Difficulty with Speech and taste issue.
Removable dentures cover areas of the jaws and palate that would otherwise be exposed. Because of the presence of acrylic resin, metal, or porcelain in these areas, proper speech requires adaptation of the tongue and lips, which may take some time to get used to. When the upper and lower denture teeth make contact, a ‘click’ can be heard. The acrylic resin and metal of removable dentures can have an adverse effect on food taste, especially if they are not properly cleaned.
The acrylic resin and metal of removable dentures can have an adverse effect on food taste, especially if they are not properly cleaned.
Are always required on a regular basis because gum and bone can change over time. The pink acrylic resin portion of the denture is readapted to the new shape and size of the gum tissue during a reline procedure. This is at an extra cost.
Other options available to replace missing teeth include implant surgery, dental bridgework as well as the option to do nothing.
The best type of restorative dental treatment to replace missing teeth will depend on the specific case, and the advantages and disadvantages should be considered in the decision-making process. Every treatment options has its pros and cons and inherent risks and complications. Some of this risk are minor, some major, and some are remote and temporary.
Several factors must be considered, including your dental and overall health, treatment time, and costs. Although dental implants are more expensive at first, they can be more cost-effective in the long run. If you are healthy and no medical issues, non-smoker, don’t mind surgery and higher cost, then implant could be for you
However, if you don’t desire or is qualified for oral surgery and have medical issue, a dental bridge can provide excellent results.
If you are looking for the most affordable options to replace your missing teeth and won’t mind wearing and having foreign objects in your mouth, then a plate or dentures could be for you.
To help you decide if veneers are what you’re looking for, to find out about your options, get the exact price of your veneer treatment, and for us to assess if you are a good candidate for porcelain veneer, book your FREE Dental Bridge consultations.
Alternatively, you can call us on 9629-7664.
We don’t believe that dental care should be out of anyone’s price range. We want you to feel confident in a smile that looks attractive and functions naturally—and fits within your budget! If you don’t believe you can afford the dental treatment you need (or want), rest assured that we will try our best to help you afford the treatment you need. We have helped countless patients receive affordable dentistry, providing them with beautiful new smiles that have changed their quality of life.
Our team helps make our dental services affordable by assisting you in maximizing your insurance benefits and accepting a variety of payment methods.
Don’t let fear or embarrassment about your budget keep you from getting the dental treatments your smile deserves.
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At Vogue Smiles Melbourne, we provide a wide range of general dentistry and cosmetic dental treatments including composite bonding, porcelain veneers, Invisalign, teeth whitening, Smile Rejuvenation, Anti-aging Dental facelift, Full Mouth Reconstruction and Aesthetic Rehabilitation , Snap on Smile, Same Day Smiles, Transitional or Intermediate Smiles and much more.
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