Mind the Gap

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Mind the Gap

by PD-loginswe, on 17th October 2014 | 0 comments

Losing a tooth can be a distressing experience, particularly if the gap is near the front of the mouth and is visible when you laugh or speak. Traditionally, there were several treatment options available if you had a missing tooth or even several teeth, ranging from doing nothing and leaving the gap, to dentures and bridges.  However, now we have dental implants, which can offer a fixed solution, independent of the other teeth.

Dentures can work very well in many cases but for some patients the thought of having to “take their teeth out at night”, is a step too far, recalling memories of Granny’s teeth in a glass by the bed. Similarly many bridges have been successful for long periods of time, but the teeth supporting the bridge have to be prepared quite substantial to accommodate the bridge, so there is a risk of damaging the pulp (nerve) and affecting the gums.

Dental implants have been one of those innovative treatments that have completely revolutionised modern dentistry. Like so many clever inventions, dental implants were discovered by accident when Per-Ingvar Branemark, a Swedish orthopaedic surgeon recorded that bone actually attached itself to medical grade titanium.  This discovery means that your dentist can now restore a gap by placing one or more dental implants, without interfering with, or damaging the adjacent teeth.  The implant placement arrests the bone loss that occurs when a tooth is lost as the bone integrates with the implant to hold it firmly and permanently in place.  A porcelain crown is then fitted on top of the implant so that the space is filled by a fixed and permanent prosthetic that looks just like a natural tooth.

In order to achieve the most favourable outcome, we do need to ensure that you are medically and dentally fit and that there is sufficient bone quality and quantity to accept the implant. We do always recommend that patients who smoke stop smoking during treatment at least and permanently if at all possible.

 

So, if you are concerned about a gap there is affecting your smile or your ability to chew properly; then chat to Marius or Kate – a dental implant may be your preferred treatment option to close the gap.

 

Written By Dr Roy Dixon  -Clinical Director

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