People can lose teeth for all kinds of reasons, such as injury or tooth decay. Of course, some patients who come to Harley Street Dental Studio have had missing teeth for many years and only recently decided to take action. Perhaps they have an important upcoming event and they are starting to feel self-conscious about the gaps in their grin. Whatever the reason, if you have decided to do something about your missing teeth there are various options to choose from, depending on how much you are able to spend and how long you want to expend undergoing treatment.
In the past, the only way to deal with missing teeth was with a set of dentures, which are false teeth attached to a plate and slotted into place in your mouth. Dentures are still available today, though they have been improved to look more natural and provide a more comfortable fit. There are several negatives to dentures, however, as they can become loose over time, pieces of food can become trapped under the plate causing gum disease and it is fairly easy to break a set during cleaning or eating.
Dentures can be used to replace a whole set of missing teeth, while it is more common to use bridges instead if you are only missing one or maybe two teeth. Bridges also use a manufactured false tooth, but instead of being held in place using a plate, it is secured using the two natural teeth either side of the gap.
A relatively new development, and one that has been improved in the last few years, are dental implants. In this treatment, the false teeth are secured in place permanently with the use of metal screws that are anchored in the jawbone. This may sound like quite a serious and invasive process, but the screws can be attached while the patient is under a local anaesthetic and once fitted dental implants are much more secure and hygienic than dentures. By acting like man-made tooth roots, the screws can even help keep your jawbone strong into old age, rather than allowing it to deteriorate, which is what usually happens when someone loses a number of teeth.
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