It is recommended to wait at least three to six months after an extraction until the replacement procedure commences. This gives time for the socket to be healed up well.
If a gap needs to be replaced for either aesthetic or functional reasons, a bridge can be one solution. A bridge is a fake tooth fused with crowns which is placed (bridged) on the two adjacent teeth. It doesn’t require to be taken out as dentures do. However it does require your commitment to practice good oral hygiene, especially flossing. A Dental Bridge functions like a natural tooth.
Tooth coloured bridges are popular. Gold bridges may not be good aesthetically, but in some cases they have better durability and functionality. Sometimes natural tooth colored material can be used (Porcelain or Zirconia), most times this has a metal (either alloy or gold) coping underneath the tooth color material. Please share your concerns and desires with us during discussion so that we can do our best to accommodate your wishes. Dental Bridges are constructed by technicians outside our practice, so two visits are necessary. Please contact us if you would like further information.
If a missing tooth needs to be replaced for either aesthetic or functional reasons and the adjacent teeth are sound without any restoration, having an implant can be the best option. Implant and crown restoration is closest to having a natural tooth. Also, if you are non-smoker or ex-smoker who has quit for several years, this provides a better long term aesthetic and functional solution than any other procedure. This, however, requires commitment to meticulous oral hygiene. Placement of the implant in most cases is recommended to be done by a specialist (either oromaxillofacial surgeon or periodontist) unless a mini-implant is recommended and arranged. We always ask to take a panoramic radiograph (OPG) when we are discussing this option to assess the condition of your jaw bone both quantitatively and qualitatively. After the implant placement, there is a loading-free period for the best integration of the jaw bone to the implant. In case of mini-implants, this is not necessary because it does not require bone integration. You have a choice of crown after the successful placement of implant. Again, having a crown requires two visits to us as it is constructed by technicians outside our practice. Please contact us if you would like further information.
If you have more than a missing tooth in the same arch (eg. upper or lower jaw) and you want to have an economical method to replace missing teeth without compromising long term benefits, a denture may be the solution for you. This involves outside laboratory technicians to make a well fitting and aesthetically pleasing denture and requires five to six visits.