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How Do We Treat Missing Teeth?

18 October,2015

How Do We Treat Missing Teeth?

Gaps in the teeth not only appear unsightly but they also lead to bone loss through a process known as resorption. Patients who’ve had many teeth extracted are more likely to experience resorption of the bone and subsequent shrinking of the gum tissue. They end up dealing with an unpleasant looking concavity in the mouth. Thankfully, missing teeth can be replaced with the use of partial or full dentures, dental bridges, single dental implant supported crowns, and all on 4 dental implants. The choices are many so it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of choosing one option over the other.


Dentures or false teeth are plates fixed with artificial teeth, worn by patients who’ve had all or some of their teeth removed. Partial dentures are removable but they aren’t as stable as modern day tooth replacement options. Full dentures are appliances that sit on the top and bottom jaw, replacing all your missing teeth and improving your appearance. They can help you chew your food but they’re known to shift in your mouth, cause soreness of the gums and make clicking sounds when you talk or cough. That being said, you won’t have to undergo surgery to have them fitted in your mouth and you’ll get your dentures fixed after a few sittings with the dentist.

 Dentures are manufactured in a laboratory after impressions of your jaw and bite and recorded at the dental clinic. You need to care for them by brushing them thoroughly and keeping them in water when not in use.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are ideally suited to fill gaps within the teeth. They’re placed over healthy teeth located on either side of the gap. The bridge is made up of crowns and pontics. The crowns go over healthy supporting teeth while the pontics make up for the missing teeth. Pontics can be made from different materials, porcelain being the most durable and aesthetically appealing choice. Traditional bridges do help in restoring your smile and they’re not as expensive as dental implants but they require healthy teeth to be recontoured so that they can support the crowns placed over them.

 Gaps in the front teeth are usually replaced with resin-bonded dental bridges. These bridges have metallic wings on either side and are bonded to the healthy teeth located on both sides of the gap. This means patients don’t have to recontour adjacent teeth or get a partial denture to fix the problem.  Bridges are temporary and don’t provide enough pressure to prevent bone loss. Besides, they can’t function as well as dental implants do.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are titanium screws that are embedded into a person’s jaw bone, in the gaps that lie between the teeth. These screws are later fitted with an artificial tooth to help patients chew properly. Once fitted, they don’t shift in your mouth, applying enough pressure to prevent further bone deterioration, and maintain the look and feel of your natural teeth.

Dental implants require surgical insertion. The entire process can take you almost 6 months to one year or more, depending on the number of implants you require. Dental implants are also more expensive than other tooth replacement options.

If you’ve lost all your teeth, All on 4 dental implants may be the right choice for you. These implants give you a whole set of teeth with the surgical insertion of only 4 titanium screws.

Dental on Clarendon are experts in tooth replacement procedures. Find out what we can do for you by enquiring online or calling us on 03 9690 3285 to learn more.