Missing teeth or a single tooth can make you shy about smiling and make it harder to speak and chew. A decline in dental density can weaken your facial muscles which may cause wrinkling that makes you look older.
Missing teeth can also cause long-term problems with your dental health but there are treatment options so you can smile again.
Unfortunately, missing teeth are common, especially in lower economic areas even though Australian States and Territories have public dental services programs for children and adults.
However, even though there are treatment options in the public system, wait times are up to a year in some cases.
Even when one natural tooth is missing, it causes a domino effect; the gap allows other teeth to shift and become crooked, which can change your bite.
This can make it more difficult to clean your teeth properly which leads to an increased risk of periodontal disease and tooth decay. Even missing one back tooth can affect your looks because each one affects your jaw bone, hence your facial muscles and features.
Dr Sara Dudley at The Orthodontic Place clinics in South Australia’s Hindmarsh and Kent Town is a trained specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of facial irregularities caused by crooked or missing teeth.
The Orthodontic Place offers a broad variety of treatment options for natural teeth to fix bad bites, straighten crooked teeth and correctly align jaws.
Luckily, the tooth replacement options available to replace missing teeth and the best treatment will depend on your personal circumstances. The tooth replacement option you choose for one or more teeth may be one of the following:
This involves a titanium screw being inserted into the jaw bone. Once the screw has stabilised within the bone, then a tooth crown will be constructed to replace the missing tooth/ teeth.
These are common solutions to replacing missing teeth. One or more false teeth bridge a gap by being attached to existing teeth on either side.
Tooth replacement such as dentures or partial dentures is favoured by many people. These fake teeth are much more natural-looking and comfortable these days. Removable partial dentures and removable complete dentures are moulded and fitted to your mouth and can be cleaned for good oral hygiene.
Some complex cases need a combination of orthodontic treatment and orthognathic surgery (jaw surgery) to correct irregularities of the jaw to improve your chewing, speaking, and breathing ability. This treatment option can also improve your facial appearance. Multidisciplinary orthodontic-orthognathic surgery cases will need the expertise of an oral surgeon.