What's the Best Way to Replace a Missing Tooth?

replacing missing toothGaps in your smile don't just affect how you look. Depending on how many teeth are absent, they can also affect how you eat and speak, as well as increasing your risk for oral health problems.

If you're missing one or more teeth, our Brisbane dentists can discuss the different options we offer for filling the gap and restoring a natural-looking smile. The three common options are:

  • Implants
  • Bridges
  • Dentures

Dental implant

Implants can replace one tooth, several teeth or all teeth in the mouth. The implant itself is a titanium post, shaped like a screw, that's placed in the jaw bone by an oral surgeon. Once it's had time to fuse with the jaw, we can cover the implant with a realistic crown.

Pros

  • Stable and longer lasting than a bridge or dentures
  • Supports new bone growth in your jaw
  • Don't have to change your diet or lifestyle, as can be the case with dentures

Cons

  • More intensive procedure involving oral surgery
  • More expensive initially, though with good care an implant might never have to be replaced
  • Not everyone is a candidate for implants, especially if you have a small jaw and a health condition that means you're not suitable for a bone graft

Find out more about dental implants

Dental bridge

A fixed bridge is a custom prosthetic tooth that's supported by the surrounding teeth. This may involve fitting crowns over the neighbouring teeth or attaching metal wings to the back of the teeth, depending on where the bridge is located in the mouth.

Pros

  • Usually cheaper and less invasive than implant treatment
  • Easier to care for than dentures – just maintain good oral health
  • Choice of bridge materials – porcelain (ceramic), porcelain over a metal base or metal

Cons

  • Doesn't support the jaw like an implant does
  • Other teeth may feel more sensitive after being prepared for crowns
  • May need to be replaced after 5–10 years with good care

Read more about dental bridges

Full or partial dentures

Removable dentures are custom made to fit your mouth. A partial denture can replace a single tooth or several teeth in a row, while a full denture replaces all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. If you still have some teeth remaining, these will need to be extracted before you can have full dentures.

Pros

  • Usually the cheapest option, although you may need to replace your dentures every few years
  • Usually easier to repair if they get damaged or come loose
  • No surgery required, unless you need extractions first

Cons

  • You may not be able to eat certain foods or take part in certain activities with dentures
  • Don't support the jaw, unless you choose an implant-supported denture
  • Need to be cleaned at least once a day and stored carefully when not in use

More information about dentures

Talk to a dentist in Everton Park or Mitchelton

If you want to know more about the treatments we offer for replacing teeth, or you're ready to book a consultation, call your local Swish Dental clinic in Brisbane today.

Call our Everton Park branch on (07) 3355 1422 or our Mitchelton branch on (07) 3354 3341.

References

Healthdirect. Dental implant procedure [Online] 2019 [Accessed October 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-implant

Healthdirect. Dental bridge procedure [Online] 2019 [Accessed October 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-bridge-procedure

Healthdirect. Dentures [Online] 2019 [Accessed October 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dentures