So why the heck would you want to replace a missing tooth?
Apart from the obvious reason – looks! It may surprise you to know…
- Having a missing tooth puts more load on your remaining teeth
- The tooth opposing (above/below) the space can continue to erupt because it hasn’t got anything to connect to/ bite against.
- The teeth on either side of the space can tip and tilt into the space.
You basically create a weak link in the chain. It often surprises people who some years after they’ve had a tooth/teeth out, suddenly find their smile looking like a roller coaster track!
It is wise idea that if you unfortunately have to have a tooth extracted, that you get a night time retainer made to hold the adjacent and opposite teeth in place (especially if a more permanent option isn’t possible for financial or other reasons).
If you are missing one or several teeth, your options are:
1. IMPLANTS (see Implant section for more detail) .
This is usually the best, although most expensive option, where the defective tooth/ root is replaced by a titanium implant. This can then have a crown placed on top. The overall effect is like having a “bionic’ tooth replacement for the damaged or diseased tooth.
2. BRIDGES ( See Bridge section for more detail)
Where crowns on the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are used to “bridge’ the space. This is a less expensive option than an implant but requires placement of crowns on either side of the missing tooth space to give support.
3. DENTURES .. These are removeable plastic (or metal) plates and the least expensive (and unfortunately comfortable) option.