If a tooth has to be removed, it’s important to look at options to replace it. Gaps in the mouth are not only unsightly – they can also cause ongoing problems with misalignment as other teeth move into the space.
Ranfurly Dental Care is a member of the Dental Implant Network, which means we can offer access to top-level specialist treatment to replace your missing tooth. Your smile is in safe hands with us.
There are a range of options available to replace a missing tooth or teeth:
A dental implant is a metal structure (usually titanium) which takes the place of the natural tooth root. An artificial crown can be attached to the implant to replace a missing tooth. A major advantage of an implant is that no preparation of the teeth either side of the missing tooth/teeth is required.
If a number of teeth are missing, more than one implant will likely be needed to support a bridge or denture (see descriptions of these below).
The implant is placed into the jaw bone where the tooth has been lost. It generally takes a few months until the bone integrates with the surface of the implant - then the artificial tooth can be attached to the implant.
Implants are not a suitable tooth replacement choice for everyone – following a complete assessment we will determine if they are a good choice for you.
A bridge is an artificial tooth (pontic), which is supported by adjacent natural teeth (abutment teeth) or implants.
Most often, the teeth either side of the gap are prepared for full artificial crowns and the pontic tooth is joined to each crown so the bridge is placed in one piece. This is termed a fixed 3 unit bridge.
This is an excellent choice in situations where the natural teeth either side of the gap could benefit from being crowned (teeth may already have large fillings and weakened tooth structure that would be better protected by an artificial crown)
The bridge usually has a metal substructure to provide strength and is covered in porcelain, for appearance.
The dentist prepares the teeth either side of the gap for crowns and takes an impression which is sent to the lab. The dental technician makes the bridge, which the dentist cements onto the abutment teeth. It usually takes around two weeks from the time of preparation until the bridge is placed. A temporary bridge is placed during this time.
A fixed 3 unit bridge may also be placed on implants:
There is more than one design of bridge. If the gap is in the front of the mouth it is sometimes possible to place a bonded bridge which requires minimal tooth preparation – it may not be a possibility in all cases.
Be assured that the full range of design options will be discussed with you if a bridge is a good choice to replace your missing tooth.
A denture is a removable appliance, which means you can take it out of the mouth to clean it.
A denture is generally used to replace a number of missing teeth.
It may be made entirely of plastic, or it may have a metal framework with plastic teeth attached.
A denture is largely supported by the underlying tissue, although sometimes support is also provided by remaining teeth. It is possible for a full denture to be supported by implants.
A denture may be “partial” – where there are still some natural teeth remaining, or “full”, where all of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw are replaced by the denture.
A denture may be seen as a short or long term solution to the problem of missing teeth.
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Our contact information:
(09) 630 8965
(09) 631 5210
235 Manukau Road,
Monday & Tuesday 8.00am - 6.00pm
Wednesday to Friday 8.00am - 5.00pm