What your dentist can do to replace missing teeth

Your dentist has many options to replace missing teeth. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we believe that it is always a good idea to replace lost teeth, not least because having gaps in your mouth can damage your confidence in your smile and your self-esteem. However, there are other health reasons why you should replace any missing teeth.

replace missing teethTeeth may be lost through gum disease or tooth decay, accident or injury. Whatever the reason, there are many options available to your dentist to provide you with a new tooth or teeth. This is important because any remaining teeth are prone to try to move into gaps left by missing teeth. In the process they can become crooked and harder to clean, which then increases your risk of plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum diseases – and, ultimately, further tooth loss.

Even one missing tooth increases the strain put on your remaining teeth when you bite and chew food, whilst several or all missing teeth can seriously impact upon your ability to enjoy a healthy and balanced diet. Nobody wants to be stuck on a soft food diet for the rest of their life, with many favourite foods off the menu. That’s why at our Harley Street clinic we recommend you see a dentist as soon as possible after tooth loss.

Treatment options

The best treatment for you will depend on several factors, including how many teeth you have lost, your general dental health, and your personal wishes. These are the options available at our Harley Street practice:

Bridges

Bridges usually comprise a precious metal base and a porcelain tooth or teeth. They may be supported by wings or crowns on adjacent teeth, or by dental implants. Bridges can replace one, two or several adjacent missing teeth.

Dentures

Dentures may be full or partial, and can be made from a range of materials.

Dental implants

Dental implants replace the root portion of a tooth and can support dentures, bridges or single crowns.

Missing teeth: what your dentist can do

There are several options available to a dentist when patients present with missing teeth. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we always recommend replacing lost teeth, and have a variety of treatments to suit all needs and budgets.

missing teethTeeth may be lost through tooth decay, gum disease, accident or injury. If your tooth is knocked out by accident or injury, it is sometimes possible for your dentist to re-implant it in the socket. Should you suffer a mishap that causes you to lose a tooth, you should book an emergency dental appointment at our Harley Street clinic, bringing your tooth with you if you still have it.

A tooth that has been knocked out should be picked up by the crown (the visible part of the tooth in your mouth). Avoid touching the root. Carefully clean the tooth in cold water if necessary and put it in a clean container covered in milk or your own saliva to bring it to your dentist.

If we can’t re-implant your tooth, your dentist will go through all appropriate tooth replacement options.

Bridges

Bridges are a common way to replace one or two adjacent missing teeth. They comprise a solid precious metal base with false teeth attached. For teeth in your smile line, we add porcelain to the base to make it look more natural. Bridges may be supported by crowns or wings on adjacent teeth, or may be attached to dental implants.

Dentures

Dentures can also be attached to dental implants, or can be made to fit snuggly over the gums. Partial dentures replace a few missing teeth while full dentures replace all teeth in one jaw. At our Harley Street clinic, our prosthodontist will create highly natural-looking dentures for you.

Dental implants

Dental implants replace the root portion of a missing tooth. Crowns, bridges or dentures are then attached on top. They are the only permanent way to replace missing teeth.

Ask your dentist about dental implants

Dental implants may be recommended by your dentist if you have lost one or more of your natural teeth. At Harley Street Dental Clinic our skilled implant team has helped many patients to replace their teeth with dental implants. They are all fellows of the International Team of Implantology, and are highly experienced in treating even the most complex of implant cases.

Why you should replace your missing teeth

about dental implantsAny dentist will tell you that it is a good idea to replace any missing teeth. While there is obviously a strong cosmetic element to this, with gaps in your teeth causing self-consciousness and anxiety about your smile, there are also clinical reasons to replace missing teeth.

When a tooth is lost, remaining teeth have a tendency to move position into any gaps. They can become crooked and more difficult to clean, increasing your chances of tooth decay. Additional strain can also be put on remaining natural teeth.

Missing teeth can also lead to bone loss, as the jaw bone slowly starts to resorb when teeth are lost. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that prevent bone loss, because they act as replacement tooth roots and integrate with the bone.

Why Harley Street Dental Clinic?

At our Harley Street dental practice, our implant team comprises top implant dentists Mr Stephen Dover, Dr Pedja Pavlovic and Dr Charlotte Stilwell. All are fellows of the International Team of Implantology, and all are experienced in complex implant cases, including those patients whose teeth have been missing for some time and who have experienced bone loss.

Even if another dentist has told you that because of bone loss you are not suitable for implant treatment, we are confident that we can help. Additional procedures – bone grafts and sinus lifts – help to rebuild the bone, enabling your dentist to place implants successfully.

Missing teeth? Here’s what your dentist can do

At Harley Street Dental Clinic, our dentists have many options for patients with one or more missing teeth. There are many reasons patients lose teeth, from gum disease to accident or injury. Whatever the reason, we believe it is essential to replace missing teeth, first and foremost to ensure you have confidence in your smile, but also for the benefit of your general health.

dental implantsWhen teeth are lost, the bone and gums beneath any gaps slowly starts to recede, which can lead to a sagging appearance in the face. You may also struggle to eat a healthy, balanced diet, and any remaining teeth may become crooked and harder to clean by moving into the spaces left by missing teeth.

If you lose a tooth you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we are sometimes able to reinsert your tooth in the socket if it has been knocked out in an accident. Even if you have been missing teeth for some time, our experienced dental team will be able to replace them.

There are many options for tooth replacement and, after examining your mouth, your dentist will go through all the options with you. This may include bridges, dentures or dental implants.

Dental implants are the only permanent solution to missing teeth, and at our Harley Street practice our dentists are highly experienced in the latest implant techniques. Implants are small titanium screws placed directly in the jaw bone, where they integrate with the bone and act as replacement tooth roots, providing firm support for new teeth in the form of dentures, bridges or crowns.

Even if your dentist has told you that you are not suitable for dental implant treatment because you have suffered bone loss, our Harley Street dentists can help, using bone graft or sinus lift procedures to restore you bone.

The Unsettling Effect of Tooth Loss

Many patients underestimate the implications and consequences associated with missing teeth. Upon closer examination, you will find the effects to be far more serious than many are aware of.

dental implantsTooth loss is physical, emotional and psychosocial all at once. Patients undergo a change that leaves a holistic effect in their appearance, speech, functioning, comfort and health.

Find out how tooth loss can bring about these effects.

The Facial Collapse: effect of non-stimulation

Tooth loss is not about the tooth so much as it is about the bones.

The facial bones are important in the configuration of the face. They are responsible for supporting the nose, cheek, lips and skin, and require continuous stimulation to maintain their shape, volume and density.

This stimulation can be likened to how exercise keeps the bones in your body active and healthy.

The bone supporting the teeth (alveolar) requires this stimulation from the teeth themselves. The teeth make contact with these bones every day through the periodontal ligament, “exercising” the bone and stimulating it to reconstruct continually.

When a tooth is lost, these bones lose width over time, brought about by lack of stimulation.

Within the first year of tooth loss, the bone’s width decreases by 25% and up to 4 millimetres in height in the subsequent years, creating a domino effect. As it loses width, it loses height. As it reduces in height, it loses width as a result– and the cycle continues.

At some point, it will have an effect of the gum tissues, whose deterioration will cause a change in speech and everyday functioning, such as biting and chewing.

If not addressed on time, this can also cause the basal bone (bone at the base of the alveolar) to recede or resorb. The chin will tilt forwards and upwards, and the cheeks will hollow out.

Thus, the patient experiences what is called the facial collapse, which causes premature aging.

Dental implant: restoring bone vitality

Dental implants are innovative treatments that effectively counter the effects of tooth loss. Unlike other tooth replacement solutions, they promote healthy bone growth by stimulating bone remodelling and integrating with the bone. In effect, they restore the patient’s appearance, functioning and speech.

Find out if you qualify for this treatment and contact Harley Street Dental Clinic for an assessment today.

The D in Dental Implants: Importance of Calcium in Bone Integration

The success of your dental implant will depend on a number of things. On top, you will have to develop a better dental hygiene as you will essentially be caring for a new tooth. Then, you also have to watch what you eat. Rest assured that your dentist would inform you of anything you need to know to care for your dental implant.

dental implantsUltimately, your implants will only be a success if it fuses with the bone. Time will tell, and some screenings here and there, if your bone takes to its new titanium neighbour. Nevertheless, you do not want to feel that your dear tooth replacement is in danger of falling. With that, we recommend ingesting copious amounts of Vitamin D-rich food.

Getting the (Vitamin) D

After a dental surgery, your body relies on its reserves of vitamins and minerals, which it sends alongside more blood to close the wound. Vitamin D is one of those bodily nourishments that your wound needs. Incidentally, it is also the most important mineral for your bones. Whether in growing, re-growing or integrating new parts, Vitamin D is key.

It is important to have an abundance of calcium reserves in your body. Not only will it ensure that your bone adapts to your implant, but also that your bones are strong enough to fuse itself to the metal. Furthermore, your body needs calcium for other purposes, reinforcing the need to have more than adequate of the mineral each day.

Gen D

Your body has the ability to create its own supply of Vitamin D. 15 minutes of direct exposure to the sun should be enough, but not recommended for people with a high risk of cancer. Thus, you can just eat foods rich in Vitamin D.

Bring your Vitamin D levels before the surgery. Then, let Harley Street Dental Clinic help you acquire a new, shiny tooth.

Contact us for more information about dental implants or cosmetic dentistry with one of our Harley Street dentists!

Making your Dental Implants Last

Over the years, dental implants have served as great alternatives to traditional dentures in replacing missing teeth. Due to their advanced technology, these permanent placements can function like your natural teeth and prove far stronger than any other dental restoration.

dental implantsCommonly referred to as “artificial teeth”, implants are actually artificial “roots” made of titanium. They are screwed into the bone, which in time, will fuse to the implants. We restore this stable foundation with a crown, bridge or denture.

Just as you would with your original teeth, you must take care of them. They may be tough as the natural enamel, but they demand extra attention and care to avoid complications. Fortunately, to do this, you only need to exercise good oral hygiene and enforce a healthy lifestyle.

Brushing and flossing

As with your real teeth, brush and floss the implants at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Try to clean every corner and area thoroughly yet gently, as harsh brushing can damage the implants.

Diet and lifestyle

Subscribing to a healthy lifestyle will keep your implants in great condition. To do this, avoid extreme-temperature and teeth-staining foods and beverages. We also advise that you avoid vices, such as alcohol and cigarette. If you are a regular smoker and drinker, now is the right time to quit.

If you frequently play sports or are a generally physically active person, secure your implants with oral appliances, like mouth guards. Wearing them in your sleep may also keep bruxism, or teeth grinding, from wearing your implants.

Dental checkups and cleaning

Checking in with your dentist every now and then is important. Generally, implants are tough, but they are susceptible to wear. Our dentists can carry out a thorough assessment of the implants’ condition and provide treatment if problems are detected.

Effective care for your implants only calls for patience and discipline. By breaking unhealthy habits and exercising proper oral hygiene, your dental implants are bound to last and serve as long-term support for your mouth.

If you require a more advanced approach in maintaining your implants, we are more than willing to assist. Contact Harley Street Dental Clinic today.