The Five Types Of Tooth Replacement

Missing teeth can have a big effect, not just on the appearance of your smile but your confidence as well.

They can also have a serious impact on your oral health, as a missing tooth can lead to problems with the surrounding teeth and make it easier for food particles and dental plaque to build up in the space between.

A cosmetic dentist can advise on a variety of options for tooth replacement, such as dental implants, crowns and bridges.

Using a dental implant to replace a single tooth

If you’ve lost just one tooth, a single dental implant supporting one crown can be used to replace it and restore the appearance of your teeth.

Dental implants work as a substitute for the lost tooth root, and are surgically inserted into your jawbone to support the replacement tooth on top of the gum line – whether that’s a crown or a bridge.

Replacing several teeth requires more than one crown

If several teeth are missing, the cosmetic dentist may advise using an implant to support a dental bridge. These effectively ‘bridge’ the gap and provide a long-lasting replacement for lost teeth.

A fixed bridge uses two crowns and a false tooth called a pontic, with the crowns attached over the top of the existing teeth on either side of the gap.

There is also a ‘bonded’ bridge where porcelain wings are used instead of crowns to bond the structure to the surrounding teeth, and a cantilever bridge is used when there aren’t any other teeth immediately next to the gap.

Replacing all of your teeth

When a replacement for the entire set of teeth is needed, dental implants can be used to support a full bridge or dentures.

Sometimes, a sinus augmentation may be required to provide enough bone for the implant to be placed in, particularly when the missing teeth are located in the upper back jaw which typically lacks sufficient bone.

In other cases, deformities in the upper or lower jaw can also make it difficult to find enough bone for the dental implants to be inserted. Ridge modification involves lifting the gum away from the ridge, which is then built up with bone or a bone substitute.