If you lose your tooth due to gum disease, tooth decay, trauma or from extraction, it is recommended to have the missing tooth replaced as soon as possible.
Treatment types range from removable options like partial dentures to fixed options like implants and bridges, depending on the condition of remaining teeth, your expectation, budget, your habits and lifestyle.
Having a full set of teeth is important for function and aesthetics. It can improve your confidence, allow you to chew and talk properly and helps maintain the shape of your face by supporting your muscles and cheeks.
While some missing teeth can be left untreated without much consequence, leaving a missing tooth unfilled may often lead to the opposite tooth over-erupting and neighbouring teeth tilting. This can lead to occlusion problems, negatively affecting your bite. If these problems are left to develop for long, treatment options may be more expensive and less effective.
Fixed options are non-removable options to replace your missing teeth, restoring your smile.
Tooth bridges essentially ‘bridge’ the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They are often made of false teeth attached between two or more crowns which are ‘tooth-shaped caps’ attached onto your existing teeth or implants.
A tooth bridge normally lasts quite well, often more than 10 years. What makes a successful bridge is similar to that of a successful crown. Factors include the type of material used, the strength and condition of the supporting teeth and the pressure placed on it. Additionally, the risk of failure increases with more teeth involved in making the bridge. Implants stand alone by themselves thus are mostly independent of their adjacent teeth and problems can be solved separately. However, problems with one tooth in the bridge can affect its adjacent teeth. In those cases, treatment can become extremely complex or the bridge may even fail as a whole.
Dental implants are a relatively newer option than bridges and denture. It can be the best in terms of aesthetics and comfort, lasting longer than bridges and dentures but are also the most expensive option.
Implants are made with a titanium screw fixed into the jawbone to act as a replacement tooth root for a new false tooth to be attached on top. Implants also preserve your bone structure, preventing bone loss, maintaining the shape of your face. Over the weeks and months after the screw is affixed, the bone will grow and integrate around the implant. In the meantime, we will design your new false tooth together to be created in the dental laboratory and it then be fitted over the top of the implant after the implant is successfully integrated.
To be suitable for implants, you must have sufficiently dense bone tissue in your jaw for the screw to be affixed upon. Thus if your missing tooth is left untreated for too long, bone loss can lead to implants being an unsuitable option for you. However, we can consider bone grafts to strengthen your bone structure for implants.
If you smoke or have periodontal disease, implants may not be suitable for you as they can significantly lower the success rate of the implant integrating into the bone.
Partial or full dentures are removable options to restore your missing teeth.
As the names suggest, partial denture is used when there are some remaining healthy teeth to support the denture. Full denture is used when you have lost or are about to lose all your teeth.
As a removable option, denture usually does not provide the same level of comfort and aesthetics as fixed options. However, denture remains a popular option as it usually costs less, requires no surgery, and it can be done within a shorter period of time.
When you come to see our dentists at Dentist Mandy, it is recommended to bring your existing dentures to us for examination. Remember, dentures require regular maintenance and replacement after a number of years.
Whenever you have a new denture or a repaired denture, you can experience soreness, pain or looseness after a few days of using your denture. Don’t worry, at Dentist Mandy, our dentist will do our best to make your denture comfortable to wear.
There are a number of factors that we need to take into consideration when we decide which option is the most suitable. These factors include:
• the condition of your remaining teeth;
• the number of missing teeth;
• your overall medical condition;
• your oral hygiene;
• your lifestyle and habits;
• your aesthetic requirements; and
• your expectations.
At Dentist Mandy, we are here to help you to go through all the factors and to help you make an informed decision.
We can provide denture, bridge and implant treatments to you. Depending on the complexity of your case, our dentists may refer you to see a Prosthodontist to achieve the result that matches your expectation.
If a denture production or repair is required urgently, we can also refer you to see Prosthodontist or dental prosthetist for urgent treatment.
Dental implants are the most natural- looking and natural-feeling replacement for missing teeth. Dental implants do not slip or click when talking, laughing or eating, giving you greater confidence in social situations. Dental implants are also considered a healthy option because you are able to leave the jawbone and facial structure intact.
During the treatment, we will take impressions of your teeth and note the shade of your teeth. Your supporting teeth (also known as abutments) will then be filed down to be reduced in size for the bridge to fit properly over them. A temporary bridge will be fitted in place while the permanent bridge is being prepared in the dental laboratory. When the new bridge is ready during the next appointment, it will be cemented over the abutments with the false tooth (also known as pontic) attached.
Acrylic partial dentures are attached to gum-coloured acrylic base plates, and they are the cheapest and quickest option. Thus, they are most suitable when you expect more changes to your teeth within short periods of time, and as a temporary solution before considering other treatment options. However, they break more easily than other types of partial dentures, and are the least comfortable and stable.
Cobalt chrome partial dentures are connected by a metal framework holding the denture in place in your mouth. They are thinner, more closely fitted and precise. Thus, they are the most comfortable to wear and adapt to, and are stronger than other partial dentures. However, they are more expensive and can be more noticeable at certain angles as they are made of metal. These dentures are the most suitable if your teeth are unlikely to change.
Valplast partial dentures are flexible dentures. They are thinner, more closely fitted and more flexible than acrylic dentures, thus are more comfortable. However, no changes can be made to the dentures at all. They are usually more aesthetically desirable as they do not contain any metal at all unlike acrylic dentures with metal clasps. It is best for patients who have few missing teeth and more stable dental condition.
During the procedure, we will make a series of impressions of your teeth, record your bite and the shade and size of your teeth to design your partial dentures. Sometimes, a try-in session is required to check for your bite and position of your teeth. Once the final denture is made, we need to adjust it a few more times to ensure that the denture is as comfortable as it can be.