Missing Teeth

Teeth are extremely important and can affect the way you look, smile, eat and speak. Having one or more missing teeth can be extremely distressing, making simple tasks like chewing and talking difficult and uncomfortable.

Here we take a look at 3 popular tooth replacement solutions – dental bridges, dentures and dental implants in Essex, to find out which is the best treatment for patients with missing teeth.

Dental Implants

  • What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are an advanced, long-term solution that can be used to replace individual teeth, multiple teeth or even all the teeth in one or both arches. The dental implants themselves are made up of 3 components, a titanium screw which is placed into the jawbone, an abutment that attaches to the screw and a crown which fits over the abutment.

  • Are They Suitable for Everyone?

Almost everyone can be a candidate for dental implants. However, there are some circumstances in which health or lifestyle habits can potentially lead to implant failure and therefore make them less suitable such as;

  • Jawbone loss
  • Poor gum health
  • Heavy tobacco usage
  • Pregnant women
  • Certain illnesses’ such as diabetes, haemophilia etc.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?


  • Restores the appearance of the smile
  • Look and function just like real teeth
  • Helps reduce jawbone loss
  • Prevents the teeth from shifting
  • Implant treatment can last a lifetime
  • Secure fit without slipping or the need for adhesives
  • Preserves facial features
  • Avoids damage to surrounding healthy teeth


  • Can be more expensive than other tooth loss treatments, although they do work out extremely cost effective over time due to their longevity and robustness.
  • They require surgery which can be scary for nervous patients

Dental Bridges

What is a Dental Bridge?

This is a durable restoration option that involves ‘bridging the gap’ between one or more missing teeth and there are different types which can be used.

When one tooth is missing in a formation, a traditional dental bridge uses the adjacent teeth as anchors to attach a dental prosthesis and fill the gap. If there are more than one tooth missing or a traditional bridge is not suitable then there are other methods such as – cantilever bridges, Maryland dental bridges and implant supported bridges.

Are They Suitable for Everyone?

Dental bridges are suitable for a lot of patients’ needs but you may not be a good candidate if;

  • You suffer dental problems that require a root canal
  • You don’t have enough jawbone density to support the bridge
  • The teeth around the gap are weak or damaged
  • You have poor oral health

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges?


  • Help to restore the shape of the face
  • Improves ability to eat and speak
  • Restores the aesthetic and function of the smile
  • Prevents teeth from shifting into the gap


  • They only last around 5-7 years
  • They do not prevent bone loss in the jaw
  • They can damage the adjacent healthy teeth


What Are Dentures?

Dentures are removable false teeth that fit over the gums to replace missing teeth and help eliminate some of the associated problems caused by having gaps. They can be either;

  • Complete dentures which are a full set that replace all the upper or lower teeth
  • Partial dentures that replace just one or a few missing teeth

Are They Suitable for Everyone?

Dentures are a viable option for most patients, even those whose teeth or jaws aren’t in the best shape. They can also be used in patients where they aren’t suitable for other tooth loss solutions such as bridges which require healthy teeth and implants that need a strong jaw and healthy gums.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dentures?


  • They are low maintenance
  • Help regain your smile
  • Work for almost everyone
  • Can be an affordable option
  • Can replace multiple missing teeth at once


  • They can need replacing frequently
  • They involve multiple procedures and appointments
  • Not as natural looking as other options
  • Can require adhesives
  • Tend to slip out at times which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable
  • Removable dentures can cause problems and become loose and sore

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