Options For Replacing Multiple Missing Teeth at Dr Sajan’s Victoria BC Dental Clinic
Aside from the obvious esthetic reasons for replacing missing teeth, there are a number of functional and overall health related reasons for replacing missing teeth.
Missing teeth reduces your chewing ability, which means that food is not being chewed as well as it should be. This food can put a strain on your digestive system in an attempt to digest the food. Over time, this can cause digestive issues.
There are many different options, as well as combinations of options for replacing missing teeth. This pamphlet will give an overview of some of these options.
Multiple Tooth Replacement Options at our Victoria BC Dental Clinic:
- Implants with crowns or as anchors for other options
- Partial Dentures
- Complete Dentures
For More Information, Visit our Missing Tooth Video Page.
Implants usually provide the most secure and longest lasting restoration choice for missing teeth. At our office, we refer the placement of implants to a gum specialist. The final tooth replacement option that goes on top is completed in our office.
Implants are titanium studs that are placed in the bone. The titanium stud then has a specialized cover placed on it.The implant will need to stay in the bone, undisturbed for 3-6 months. During this time, there will be no teeth connected to the implant. A temporary partial denture (a flipper) can be made if esthetics or function are a concern. Once the implant is healed and fully integrated in to the bone, an impression will be done at our office. This impression is then sent to the lab, and the specialized cover is replaced. The lab will then fabricate the final tooth replacement option. The tooth replacement option (crowns, bridge or denture), will attach to the implants, using them as support to hold the replacement teeth in place. Implants require the same home care as your natural teeth (daily brushing and flossing) to avoid infection of the implant.
A bridge is another option for a fixed (non-removable) prosthesis. They provide good esthetics and function. Bridges can be placed on natural teeth, implant teeth, but not a natural tooth to an implant. They can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth.
A natural tooth bridge is made by preparing the teeth on either side of the toothless space. The teeth are reduced by approximately 1-1.5mm. This reduction provides room for a custom made crown (cap) to be fitted on those teeth without interfering with your bite. Between these custom fit caps, teeth are inserted that are connected to both caps. This creates a single piece of material that covers the prepared teeth and provides prosthetic teeth in the middle. Since it is a single piece, floss does not pass through between the teeth in this area, so flossing aids are required for flossing.
Due to the nature of the material used for bridges, they cannot be made too long. Replacement of no more than 2 teeth in a row is recommended in most cases.
For more information on bridges, watch our Bridge Information Video.
Dentures are the most economical way to replace missing teeth.They are a removable prosthesis, meaning that they can be put in and removed by the patient.
A denture is made by taking a series of impressions and measurements at our office. These usually require 4 different appointments 1-2 weeks apart. These impressions are sent to a lab, where a denture is made. The patient is then brought back to the office where any adjustments that are needed are made and the patient is able to leave with the denture.
The drawback to a denture is that, because it is removable, it is not as stable as the fixed options. The denture also does not have the strength, and thus, the longevity of the other options. Dentures for the top also require the covering of some of the roof of the mouth (the palate). This can cause some alterations in speech and taste.
Patients find that the addition of implants to support the denture, as opposed to relying solely on natural teeth and gums adds stability to the denture and holds it in place more securely.
Dentures need to be removed for 8 hours a day (most people choose during sleep). This gives the tissues a chance to ‘breathe’ and stay healthy.
Partial dentures can be made with a metal base for longevity, or a plastic base for a temporary solution.Partial dentures rely on either implants or metal clasps that hold on to remaining teeth to stay in.
Complete dentures can be made a few different ways. They can be made with or without metal reinforcements. You may also have the option to have conventional dentures or immediate dentures.
Immediate dentures are dentures that are set up and made before the remaining teeth are taken out. These dentures are then inserted at the appointment where the teeth are removed. This denture type requires many more adjustment appointments to adapt to the changing gums, and will require a relining of the denture to match the gums once healing is complete (between 6 months and a year).
Conventional dentures are dentures that are made after all of the teeth are removed, and the gums have healed.