Are you missing a tooth?
We offer a wide range of options to replace a missing tooth. The most popular option for replacing one or two missing teeth are ceramic dental bridges. Ceramic bridges use the teeth either side of the gap and is fixed into the mouth. It is a very hygienic method of replacing a tooth whilst feeling like a natural tooth. An alternative to ceramic bridge where more that two teeth are being replaced is a removable denture (plate). Dentures are made from plastic or a combination of metal and plastic. Dentures are the most cost effective method of replacing multiple missing teeth but feel the least like natural teeth and can be hard to get used to in the mouth.
What is a bridge?
A bridge is a technique used to replace missing teeth and is permanently fixed the mouth. The bridge allows a false tooth to be held rigidly in the place where an existing tooth is missing. The bridge usually attaches to existing natural teeth, so you must have some good, healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth for a bridge to be an appropriate form of treatment.
Why do I need a bridge?
For many people, it is tempting to think that a missing tooth does not need to be replaced. Often, it won’t cause pain or distress in the way that a decayed tooth will, for example. However, there are a number of reasons why it may be worth considering a bridge to replace a missing tooth. Obviously, there are the issues surrounding facial aesthetics and balance. But also, a missing tooth can make your teeth harder to clean and as food becomes lodged in the gap the healthy teeth around that gap are more likely to decay. Your teeth around the gap will also attempt to ‘compensate’ for the gap in your bite and will begin to grow crookedly. So the end result will be that crooked teeth become far more vulnerable to decay and damage.
What does the procedure for a bridge involve?
As we mentioned above, you need to have healthy teeth around the missing tooth which can provide end supports for the bridge. The first step in the process, once these healthy ‘supports’ have been identified, is to reshape them and place crowns on them. The false tooth is then placed between these two crowns and bonded to them with dental cement. The bridge is a permanent solution for a missing tooth, so once it is in place it cannot be removed in the same way that dentures, for example, can be.
What are the alternatives?
The alternatives will depend on how your current teeth are and whether your other teeth are healthy enough to support a bridge. If not, another option could be a dental implant in which the false tooth is fastened directly onto the jawbone. Alternatively, dentures may be a more suitable option for you, as they are more flexible and can be removed for cleaning.
What are dentures?
Dentures are a set of false teeth that enable individuals to eat naturally and smile with confidence. You can have either a complete set of dentures or a partial set – depending on how many teeth you are missing and how many need to be replaced.
Will I notice a big difference?
It depends on how bad your teeth were in the first place, before your dentures were fitted. You will certainly notice a difference in eating and you might find it quite difficult. You may also find it difficult to pronounce some words. Don’t worry, you haven’t suddenly acquired an inability to speak – you will just have to give your mouth time to get used to the new shape of the dentures.
Some people also notice that dentures make a difference to their facial appearance. It isn’t usually something we notice until we start to lose our teeth, but they play a significant role in facial balance, enhancing our cheeks and giving extra definition to your face. Of course, if you’ve lost your damaged and rotten teeth and replaced them with dentures, you’ll have a better smile too.
What does the procedure involve?
A badly fitted denture can make life really difficult. Therefore, we refer patients to our local denture technicians in Buderim or Mooloolaba to make them. It may require a number of visits (sometimes up to five), so that the denture technician can accurately determine the natural shape of your bite, jawbone and teeth. The process begins with impressions of your upper and lower jaws.
How do I care for my dentures?
It is tempting to imagine that having dentures fitted means you don’t have to worry about looking after your teeth anymore. This is quite the opposite. Your dentures will require just as much care as your natural teeth – if not more. Even with your natural teeth removed, plaque will still attach itself to your gums and tongue, so you must brush those twice each day. You will also have to clean your dentures carefully to remove food, while many people also use a special denture cleaning fluid to keep stains at bay. Poorly maintained dentures can lead to thrush, irritation of the gums or swelling of the soft tissue.