This depends on the number of teeth missing and on where they are in the mouth. The condition of the other teeth also affects the decision.
There are two main ways to replace the missing teeth. The first is with a removable false tooth or teeth – a partial denture. The second is with a fixed bridge. A bridge is usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth.
What Is A Partial Denture?
This is a plate with a number of false teeth on it. It may well be all plastic or a mixture of metal and plastic. Both types may have retaining clips (clasps), to help keep the denture in place in the mouth. Depending on where they are, some of these clips may be visible when you smile or open your mouth. Usually plastic, and occasionally porcelain. Each replacement tooth is made specially, to get the right shape, colour and size for you.
Plastic partial dentures are less expensive to make but unless they are designed very carefully they can damage the teeth they fit against.
Metal partial dentures are usually made from an alloy of cobalt and chromium and they are much stronger. They are lighter to wear and can be supported by the remaining teeth. Although the base is metal, they have gum-coloured plastic and natural-looking teeth fixed to them. They are more expensive than the plastic ones. Be guided by your dentist. He or she will know the condition of your remaining teeth. In most cases a metal-based partial denture gives the best result, but the higher cost may make you decide against it.
How Should I Clean My Denture?
You should remove the denture from your mouth for cleaning. We will show you how to clean it, probably with a small toothbrush and toothpaste, or by soaking it in cleansing solution. If you have a metal based denture you’ll need to choose a cleansing solution that’s suitable for metal.
Can I Leave My Denture Out At Night?
Yes, leave it in water.
Are There Any Alternatives To Dentures?
The main alternative is a fixed bridge. This is made by constructing crowns on the teeth at either side of the space, and then joining these two crowns together by placing a false tooth in the space. This is all made in the laboratory and then the pieces are cemented into place with special adhesives. The bridge can’t be removed.
How Do I Know If I Can Have A Bridge?
Providing you have enough strong teeth with good bone support, yes, you can usually have a bridge. We can show you any available options and help you decide which is the best way of replacing the teeth within your budget.
Is Bridgework Expensive?
Although a bridge may seem expensive it will give many years of use. It will also improve your appearance and bite. A bridge uses the considerable skill of the dentist and technician, and in this way, it’s similar to ordering a piece of hand-made jewellery. The materials are also expensive so it’s fair to say a bridge will not be the cheapest treatment you have ever had. We will be happy to provide a written estimate and discuss available payment options.
What Are The Alternatives?
There are other methods, such as using a combination of crowns and partial dentures that can keep the retaining clips out of sight. These are quite specialised dentures, so you should ask us about them. It is also possible to use implants. The success of this technique means you may be able to replace missing teeth without crowning other teeth.