Why you should replace a missing tooth

Losing a tooth isn’t fun, but sometimes having a tooth (or two) extracted is the best thing to do.

When you have missing teeth it can feel uncomfortable or embarrassing to have a gap in your smile. Did you know that missing a tooth can also be harmful to your overall health?

Here are 4 reasons why you should consider replacing a missing tooth:

  1. Teeth may shift and loosen – Like books in a bookcase, when every tooth is in your mouth, neatly in a row, they can keep each other lined up and stable. Take one out and the teeth can drift out of place, become crooked, or result in new gaps appearing between your remaining teeth. Another issue that may occur is super-eruption of the tooth that opposes the site of the missing tooth. As that tooth moves up out of the gum you may experience sensitivity and be more vulnerable to decay. This drift and movement can also change your bite which leads onto a whole other set of issues.
  2. Your face could change – The ADA says that even the loss of a back tooth can cause your bone to deteriorate and muscles to droop over time potentially making your face look older. No one wants that!
  3. It may affect your mental health – While missing a tooth may be fun when you are a kid, not so much as an adult. The way you feel about your smile is incredibly significant. Grinning is an important way to emote and communicate with other people. A missing tooth can easily cause you to hold back and lose self-confidence. Missing teeth can also affect your speech and make eating difficult. Poor chewing can lead to other digestive problems and affect you nutritionally.
  4. TMJ disorder – Your lower jaw can move freely to chew and bite food because of the temporomandibular joints, or TMJ on each side of your head. Teeth function as a unit. Properly aligned teeth come together harmoniously when you bite and chew. When you eat and have a missing tooth or teeth, more stress may be placed on the remaining teeth and your TMJs due to changes in your bite causing jaw pain, headaches and possibly further tooth loss. Not pleasant ☹

This is why it is important to replace a missing tooth. Partial dentures are a phenomenally successful, cost effective way to do this and are globally the most common prosthetic.

We love giving advice (and we don’t charge for it 😊) so contact us now to book in for an initial consultation and be informed.

Metal or acrylic partial dentures – which one is best for you?

A partial denture is made to replace one or more missing teeth and relies on the remaining natural teeth to hold it in place. They are a very cost effective  way to restore your smile and function after losing your natural teeth as an alternative to expensive implants or crown and bridge work.

There are two main ways of constructing a partial denture:

  • Acrylic partial dentures are made entirely of acrylic (plastic) and use metal wire clasps to attach to the remaining natural teeth.
  • Metal (cobalt-chrome) partial dentures are made of a thin base of metal with teeth and acrylic attached to the base plate.

What are the differences and does it matter which type I get?

There is no short answer to that question!

Generally metal partial dentures are smaller, lighter and much easier to adjust to. They are also stronger, harder to damage and have a much longer lifespan. However they are also more expensive for all these reasons.

Acrylic partial dentures may not score so well in these areas but they are still a very successful option for many people. For example a good reason to consider having an acrylic denture instead of a metal base is the health of your remaining teeth.

If you are likely to lose more teeth in the very near future then acrylic dentures are easier to have more teeth added to meaning that losing teeth does not require having a whole new denture made.

These are just a couple of the things to consider before deciding on the type of denture you have made.

Everyone’s mouth is unique. You will wear a denture for many years so you need to make the best decision for your circumstances.

As dental prosthetists dentures are our expert area – it is literally all we do!

With four decades of experience we can fully inform you on all aspects of denture design, construction and rehabilitation to ensure you get the best possible outcome.