We are often asked about the different ways to replace missing teeth, so we thought it would be helpful to the people of the North Devon and the local Barnstaple areas if we took some time to explain this in our blog.
We are therefore going to take an in-depth look at the reasons you might want to replace missing teeth (which may include some reasons you’ve never heard of before!), we will also take a brief look at the various ways of replacing missing teeth and what the advantages are with each method. (More to come on this in more detail in a future blog post).
Why replace missing teeth?
1. Because gaps don’t look great
It sounds obvious, but it’s rather true. Our smile is extremely important to the look of our face, take a look at these celebrities with their teeth deleted from the photographs… Your smile is extremely important and having missing teeth can change the way it looks completely.
2. Because other teeth can move around!
Your teeth are all in fine balance with one another. Teeth rest in what is known as the ‘neutral zone’. This neutral zone is created by the teeth either side, the opposing teeth on the opposite jaw and your tongue and cheek. All of these put mild pressure on the tooth, all in balance with one another, all keeping your teeth in pretty much the same place.
If this balance and harmony is disturbed, for example by removing a tooth, then the teeth either side will have a tendency to tip into the gap and drift. Your opposing teeth will also have a tendency to over erupt in to the gap.
This moving of teeth can have a cosmetic impact. Take a look at the image above and notice that the premolar that has moved has changed the gum line on the upper jaw. This sensitive gum line architecture will affect how your smile looks if it is compromised.
Moving teeth around like this can also affect the way your bite works
3. Because your jaw joint can be affected
This is a direct consequence of the teeth moving as described in #2. If your opposing teeth drift then you may have to move your jaw in a slightly different way to ensure that the teeth don’t interfere with each other when you bite.
This can be extremely subtle and you may not even notice that your natural muscles have changed the way they work slightly. One consequence of this can be that some muscles are overworked,. Because the muscles of your head and neck are all connected. this can lead to headaches and/or neck pain.
A rather surprising consequence of having a single tooth removed!
4. Because you can prevent additional bone loss
When a tooth is removed, it leaves a socket or a hole. New bone doesn’t fill up this hole, rather, what happens is that the surrounding bone collapses in to fill up the gap. This collapsing means you lose over all bone quantity in this area.
This can have the impact of changing the line of your gum and also can compromise the placement of a dental implant at a later date if you so decide due to a possible lack of adequate bone.
One way to prevent this bone loss is to have a dental implant placed, the dental implant then fills the gap where the tooth is removed and prevents the adjacent bone from collapsing into the space.
Ways to replace missing teeth.
The primary focus of this blog post is to answer your questions about why you should replace missing teeth, we will take a much more in-depth look at the various options in our next blog post., however, here is a brief summary.
Dentures are often unpopular due to the fact that they are removable. Modern dentures however can often be extremely stable, beautiful and are often a perfectly acceptable way to replace missing teeth.
Dental bridges have been around for many years now and form a permanent solution to replacing missing teeth. They will attach to the adjacent teeth, which form an abutment off of which the false tooth will be suspended.
Dental implants are the most modern solution for replacing missing teeth. They generally offer the most aesthetic option as they can look as though they grow out of the gum like a natural tooth. Because they also support the surrounding bone and prevent bone loss they may also be considered the most healthy option.
Further questions about replacing missing teeth?
To help with all of your questions we have created a free guide, in it we talk about the various options to replace missing teeth, the procedures, the costs and what you can expect.
The guide is completely free and can be downloaded by completing the form below.