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The consequences of missing teeth

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What Patients with Missing Teeth Must Know: Replacement Teeth

Losing a tooth for good has got to be one of the scariest experiences.

Hugely impacting your confidence, teeth lost either to gum disease, tooth decay, genetics or injury can be a big problem!

The negative effects don’t stop there. Edentulism refers to the loss of permanent teeth and when gaps in the mouth are left ignored patients can be at risk of greater and more broad health consequences.

When a tooth is no longer present, the gum loses a lot of its natural protection against debris, heightening the risk of gum disease.

Whilst very common among adults gum disease can have serious consequences, as it can inflame the gum, contribute to a reduction in jaw bone density and even cause further tooth loss.

Replace your teeth – book an appointment.

Is it bad to have missing teeth?

The Gentle Dental practice offers emergency/same-day dental appointments to new and existing patients who are suffering from a multitude of oral health problems.

Dr Ali Rifai, our leading restorative dentist has years of experience providing missing tooth solutions for our patients in Surrey and London.

Aware of the dire consequences, Dr Rifai has seen first-hand the effects that missing teeth can have on the condition of your oral health and hygiene.

Dental health and missing teeth problems:

  • When you lose a tooth, the natural roots that once embedded into your jawbone are no longer there, which puts pressure on surrounding teeth to hold the weight. On top of this, almost all patients with missing teeth experience bone loss.
  • Bone does not grow back and patients can experience a depletion in bone density within just six months of losing the tooth. This will require bone grafts and bone regeneration surgeries before any reconstructive surgery can be scheduled.
  • Neighbouring teeth are at greater risk of tooth decay as the shape of your mouth can change.
  • Other teeth can shift or move as gaps are present, which can impact the entire bite.
  • Difficulty with speech and eating everyday foods.
  • Patients can expect the shape and the structure of their face to change as teeth impact facial aesthetics. Missing teeth can cause a sunken and aged look.
  • Increase risk of periodontal disease and gum recession.

That’s why it’s crucial to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible in order to protect and preserve the oral state.

The best options to replace missing teeth permanently

Which type of prosthetic or prosthesis will work for you? All the options implant dentistry can offer:

There are multiple restorative solutions to replace teeth lost.

The most popular replacement methods tend to include Bridges, Partial Dentures / Implant-Retained Dentures and Titanium Implants.

However, in recent years, patients with missing teeth have been moving away from older, less reliable treatments like dentures and bridges and opting for dental implants, which can last a lifetime.

Solutions for missing front teeth:

implant before and after

Single implants are likely to be prescribed in this situation because they will be the simplest and easiest way to restore stability and aesthetics.

Implants act as artificial tooth roots.

It will take three months, once the implant has been placed into your jawbone to fuse, we call this a period of healing or osseointegration.

Dental bridges can be used to replace a single tooth, however, it may not be the most natural-looking solution for patients wanting to replace front teeth. The same can be said for dentures in this scenario.

Several teeth missing:

Dental bridges can be a cost-effective solution. They are a tried and tested method of replacing several teeth in one go.

The bridge is comprised of a false tooth or teeth and is attached to neighbouring teeth on either side of the spaced area.

For a more natural-looking smile, patients can combine bridges with implantation treatments, for example; implant-supported bridges.

Individual implants can be used to replace multiple gaps across the mouth either individually, or together.

Patients can save money on treatment by combining procedures like dentures that are clipped onto implants in strategic positions.

Read Dental Implants vs Bridges.

Complete tooth loss:

These are often complex cases and require a lot of work and careful attention from an experienced restorative dentist or prosthodontist.

Often in situations like this, we would recommend procedures like All-on-Four, so patients can save money by only purchasing implants that act as an anchor in all four corners of the mouth.

All on Four are full-arch fixed implant bridges that support either four or six dental implants at once.

Call us on 020 8224 7562 to speak to an expert.

Replacing missing teeth cost

Alternatives to artificial teeth:

  • Maryland Bridge: £650
  • Fixed Bridge: £575 per unit
  • Dental Implant (including porcelain dental crown and abutment): £1,900
  • Bone Grafting: £400-2,000
  • Sinus Lift: £650-1,200
  • All on 4/6 (Full arch): £9,995
  • Zygoma: £19,995

The cheapest way to pay

Honestly, when it comes to replacing teeth, you should not be looking for cheap solutions.

Your natural teeth are very strong and help you in lots of different ways you may not even realise.

Comprising on the cost of these treatments will mean that you are choosing lower-quality treatments by non-experienced or specialist dentists.

Tooth replacement can be expensive depending on the treatment you choose but remember it comes at a cost for a reason, especially in the case of dental implants, which require very little maintenance and last practically forever.

Patients can spread the cost however with 0% finance options, which will allow for no-interest payments for up to 24 months.

Implants are not free on the NHS as they dramatically enhance your appearance, so are therefore considered cosmetic in nature.

monitoring the jawbone

Everything you need to know about missing teeth:


“69.0% of people aged between 35 and 45 years have one tooth missing” – Referral Md

Why is replacing missing teeth important?

Further tooth loss often occurs as the neighbouring teeth attempt to fill the gap left by the missing tooth.

As they do, the gum gradually recedes until the teeth begin to loosen. This process typically continues until the teeth find new points of contact or fall out entirely.

These unwanted movements also create problems of their own; by creating new spaces in the mouth, food and debris get trapped, increasing the likelihood of periodontal disease later on.

The knock-on effects of tooth loss extend beyond the gums, however.

Teeth play a central role in the health and structure of the jaw. When teeth are missing, the result is often a reduction in jaw definition, which only bone grafts can heal.

Critical bone lost in the jaw too

In the first year of tooth loss alone, the jaw experiences a 25% reduction.

This can lead to a significantly weaker profile and a more ‘aged’ appearance.

As the jawbone begins to contract, gum tissue starts to shrink as well, becoming increasingly vulnerable and eventually developing sore spots.

With the increase of space in the mouth, the tongue can also enlarge, creating further complications within the mouth.

Missing teeth are associated with poor general health problems

all on four tooth replacement

Tooth loss can have significant consequences for a person’s general health.

The main cause, and perhaps the most obvious, is the loss of chewing ability, with a study of denture wearers showing that nearly half exhibited a lower ability to chew correctly.

Chewing has been linked to better general health, including less reliance on medication and a better diet.

Equally, studies indicate a strong correlation between good dental hygiene and reduced risk of heart and blood vessel disease.

Another impact of tooth loss, and one that is often overlooked, is the impact on mental health.

Tooth loss can be embarrassing for many, resulting in a loss of overall confidence.

One might begin avoiding certain situations such as kissing and eating in public or even avoid smiling altogether.

Any one of these can be deeply damaging to a person’s wellbeing, and only compound the physical effects of tooth loss.

Is it OK not to replace a missing tooth?

implant reviewDo you want healthy teeth? Then replacing missing teeth is important.

It is against our medical advice that you do not close gaps in your mouth.

Fortunately, the dental implants offered by The Gentle Dental provide the ideal solution to tooth loss.

By anchoring a new tooth within the jaw itself, there is no need for temporary and unreliable solutions such as dentures, and the procedure is simple and painless.

With this in mind, you may be wondering if dental implants are right for you.

See: Who is not suitable for dental implants

The majority of healthy adults will qualify for dental implants. However, there are several potential exceptions.

You will be required to have good oral health and a sufficient amount of bone, which will be essential in securing the implant safely.

If the implant surgery is nerve-wracking for you, it is carried out under anaesthetic and we can report from previous patients that there has been minimal discomfort following surgery.

For patients experiencing gingivitis, gum disease or even periodontal disease will need to have these conditions treated prior to receiving reconstructive surgeries like dental implants in order to ensure their long-term success.

If you do fall into one or more of these categories, it is still worth a consultation with The Gentle Dental, as every mouth is different.

Contact us to book an appointment.

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