Dr Andy Tannahill - Dental Implants Specialist - Scarborough

About dental implants

If you have missing teeth

People lose teeth for a variety of reasons, and these are advancing gum disease, wear and tear due to the ageing years, accidents, failed root treatments or tooth decay.

These will leave gaps, which can sometimes seriously affect their smile, or cause problems as food is difficult to chew, putting more stress on the digestive system.

Why should missing teeth be replaced?

After teeth are lost, the bone support underneath the gum will shrink. This will cause a lack of support, which may cause the facial appearance to collapse.

Placing dentures can fill the gaps, but as they constantly move in the mouth, they will accelerate this bone loss.

Who is suitable for dental implants?

Anyone who has in good general health can usually have implants placed. However if you have a smoking or heavy drinking habit, then this will increase the problems with healing and may affect the long term viability of the treatment.

Options for replacing your missing teeth

Dentures. These are removable, and can be a relatively inexpensive way to restore missing teeth. However, as mentioned earlier they can cause accelerated shrinkage of bone, and due to their nature can cause gum disease and decay. As they will be mobile, some fixative may be needed to stop them dropping out, and cause a lack of confidence.

Conventional bridges. These traditionally were the alternative way to fill gaps in the mouth. However, they usually involve drilling natural tooth substance away before the bridge can be cemented onto the tooth. This will also increase the risk of needing a root treatment on the teeth which retain the bridge. Bridges cannot fill gaps, which are too long as the retaining teeth will not be strong enough to support them.

Adhesive bridge. These can only be used for short periods or for areas in the mouth where low loading forces are imparted on them. However, although they do not need much drilling, they tend to be used as a temporary measure.

Dental Implant. These will replace the missing tooth root, and stimulate the bone, so that any loss is minimal. They will standalone and do not need any support from the adjacent teeth. They are currently the best way to replace single, multiple or even a whole mouth of missing teeth.
Loose dentures can be “clipped” on to them to provide retention.

Regenerative techniques can be used where implants cannot be placed due to inadequate bone.