Dentures, Bridges or Dental Implants?

Choosing the most appropriate replacement for missing teeth.

After losing a tooth, especially those which are the most visible, most people will want to replace them and ‘close the gap’, so to speak. Obviously, it is far better to keep your teeth in good condition in the first instance through regular check ups for gum disease, decay etc, but sometimes, these appointments are left too late and also, well, accidents can and do happen.

There are four options open to a patient who has lost a tooth, or teeth and we will take a look at these options below:

Do Nothing

Whilst it is not uncommon, though inadvisable, for some people doing nothing about a missing tooth seems to be an option. This is simply not a good choice for a number of reasons. First of all, the gap is unsightly and is likely to cause the person to lose confidence in themselves. It may even have a negative effect on career and social life in some cases.

From a dental perspective too, when a gap is left, the other teeth will move into that space and become crooked and uneven as well. On top of this, bone loss will occur where there is no tooth to hold on to and can affect the person’s appearance in this way too.

Dentures

Using a partial denture has long been the standard practice to replace a missing teeth and, in all fairness, has been a good option for a long time when none others were available. Modern design and aesthetics have also improved their appearance and enabled the denture to blend in with the other teeth.

Unfortunately, this is where the positives ends as dentures are not only inconvenient for cleaning, but also can cause gum soreness and have a habit of becoming loose exactly at the time when you least want them to be.

Dental Bridge

The dental bridge is another option that is often used to replace a missing tooth and whilst these do give more strength and functionality to the wearer, and have a reasonable life span; to fit these involves doing preparatory dental work on the teeth either side of the gap. This is something which may not be ideal as removing some of an otherwise healthy tooth is best avoided if possible.

With both dentures and bridges too, of course, the bone in the jaw will deteriorate as there is no root for it to hold onto.

Dental Implants

At the London Centre for Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we have long taken the view that neither of the above options offer the best solution and prefer instead to offer dental implants to our patients from Richmond, Chelsea and Central London.

Dental implants offer a number of advantages over both of the above options.

Longevity – Once placed, with reasonable care, dental implants have a lifespan of twenty five years and often many more. Bridges, on the other hand, generally last ten years or so.

Strength – Once placed and allowed to bond with the bone, a crown is then attached to the implant. From this stage on, you can almost forget that you are wearing one and can eat any food at all without having to be concerned with it becoming unstable.

Oral Hygiene – Dentures are notoriously difficult and inconvenient to clean. Bridges can also be tricky and can result in unremoved debris which can cause dental problems.

Dental implants, on the other hand, once placed, can be cleaned in exactly the same manner as any other tooth and are considerably more convenient.

For more information about dental implants, please visit our dental implant page on our website or, to arrange a consultation, please call us on 020 7589 7792 or email us at info@perio-implant.co.uk.