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Your appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by a missing tooth can mean greater strain on the teeth at either side. A gap can also mean your ‘bite’ is affected, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to food getting packed into the gap, which causes both decay and gum disease.
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 three 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. The third is to use Implants to support crowns, bridges or dentures.
Yes, if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support. Your dentist will help you decide the best way of replacing your missing teeth specific to you.
Bridges can be either all ceramic for the highest possible aesthetic considerations, or porcelain fused to metal where the strength of the bite may need to be considered.
You need to clean your bridge every day, to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. You also have to clean under the false tooth every day. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to use special floss to aid the cleaning process.
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 your dentist about them. You can also have teeth implanted, ask your dentist for more information.
Yes, there are different types of bridge which use different fixing methods. Your dentist will choose the most effective and conservative bridge for your personal situation.