Dentures, Bridges and Dental Implants

Options for replacing missing teeth at 77 Harley Street

Losing a tooth is something that we all try to avoid but sometimes, with the best will in the world, we lose one or have to have one extracted. Sometimes, this is the result of an accident which no amount of preventative care would avoid.

A missing tooth can affect both the function of our teeth overall and also the way that we look and therefore often too, our confidence. Accordingly, most people will look to have the tooth replaced rather than live with a gap in their teeth.

There are currently three main options to replace a missing tooth, one of which we find particularly popular with patients at our Harley Street dental clinic.

Dentures

Dentures have been around for a very long time and have, thankfully, become a better quality over the years. Whilst it is true that dentures are now more comfortable and natural looking than their predecessors, for some people they still cause discomfort and cause friction against the gums as the patient’s face changes shape due to the loss of the tooth and consequently, thinning of the bone in the jaw.

Given the discomfort and embarrassment factor as the dentures move in the mouth (or even fall ou!), this is a replacement option that many now try to avoid.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge offers a more secure option than dentures and will not move around in the mouth as dentures do. However, the same problem still occurs with a bridge as there is still no root embedded in the jaw bone and therefore the jaw will still thin and change shape over a period of time.

Some prefer to avoid this procedure if possible as, to hold the bridge in place, it has to be connected to the adjoining teeth and very often these have to be ‘prepared’ and shaped in order to fit the bridge. This usually means that otherwise healthy teeth have to be worked on which is something that both dentists and patients would probably prefer to avoid.

Dental Implants

We consider the best method that we provide at our Harley Street practice, to be dental implants. These actually come in three parts although, strictly speaking, it is the first part which is the actual implant.

This part is made from titanium and is screw like in appearance. This is placed into the jawbone and then left for a few months whilst the bone fuses around the implant. This is the key factor in the strength of a dental implant. Once this process has occurred, an abutment is attached, onto which a prepared dental crown is added to give a strong replacement tooth.

The same process can also be used when a full arch of teeth need to be replaced using 4 dental implants to hold a fixed bridge in place. This procedure is commonly referred to as an ‘all on 4’ or ‘teeth in a day’.

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