Filling in the gaps
People lose their teeth all the time, either through gum disease, decay, trauma or even just old age. Whatever the reason for losing a tooth, it needs replacing, not only to give you a smile to be proud of but also to enable you to function correctly so you do not break or lose anymore teeth. There are several options available to you to replace lost teeth;
- Dentures Whether you have lost one tooth or several teeth a denture may be an option. We will take some impressions and make the denture to match your remaining teeth. Some patients do not like the thought of a denture in their mouth or the thought of having to remove it at night to clean it.
- Bridge By using the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth or teeth we can bridge the gap. If the adjacent teeth have never been filled or crowned before then some tooth destruction will be necessary to allow the bridge to fit onto them. Bridging a gap is an ideal solution if the adjacent teeth are crowned as there is very little, if any, extra tooth destruction needed. Unlike dentures this is a permanent solution.
- Implants An implant is made of titanium and screwed directly in to the bone, where the missing tooth is. As long as you have enough bone support and good oral hygiene an implant is the ideal restoration. Implants are placed under local anesthetic and provide the foundations for a crown or bridge or over denture to be placed on top. However, implants are not advisable for smokers as the bone is unlikely to heal properly and there is a higher risk of infection.
Composite and Glass Ionomer Fillings
A filling is normally needed to replace part of the tooth that has been lost because of decay or through accidental damage. It helps to rebuild the tooth so that you can chew again.
A composite or glass ionomer cement are white coloured filling materials that give the appearance of natural tooth. They come in a range of shades so can be matched perfectly to your own colour of tooth.
Unlike amalgam fillings they bond to tooth so they can be used to repair chipped or broken teeth, especially front teeth. However, they are not as strong as amalgam fillings or emax units therefore may not be suitable for larger fillings in back teeth. They also need very dry conditions which can be hard to achieve at the very back of the mouth.
Over time these fillings can stain due to red wine, coffee, tea and smoking so may need replacing if you are not happy with their appearance.