False teeth can also be known as a bridge or dentures
False teeth can either come in the form of a bridge or denture. Bridgework can replace a missing tooth, or teeth, provided the teeth on either side of the gap are healthy and the gap between the supporting teeth is relatively small. False teeth as partial dentures are mainly used if the gap is too large for a bridge or if you feel that dental implants are not for you. We provide a full range of cosmetic and restorative treatments at the Birmingham Periodontal and Implant Centre.
Why should you replace a missing tooth with false teeth?
Your appearance is one reason. Secondly, the gap left by a missing tooth can mean greater strain is put on the teeth at either side. Your “bite” can be 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. Bridges are usually made of porcelain bonded to a metal framework.
There are also new bridges made entirely of a special type of strong porcelain and the same space age ceramic materials used to make crowns. You can think of a bridge as two or more crowns joined together by a false tooth. If the supporting teeth are heavily filled then you may need a root canal filling prior to having the final bridge fitted. The same risks associated with crowning teeth apply to having a bridge. The bridge is permanently cemented to place and is not like a denture that you will remove at night, it is a fixed solution to fill a gap.
Dental implants look better than false teeth
Cost will vary according to the size and type of bridge you need. If you have multiple missing teeth then multiple bridges may be needed. Bridges, like crowns, can also be used in combination with dentures or dental implants. Dental implants have many advantages over false teeth.
A false tooth fixed onto a natural tooth is called a crown
A crown (or “cap”) is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth even though they are actually false teeth. The natural tooth is completely covered by the crown. Crowns are an ideal restoration for teeth that have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. A crown could be used for a number of other reasons, for instance:
- You may have had a root filling which will need a crown to protect what is left of the tooth.
- The crown may help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.
- You may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth by using a false tooth.
Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials. Porcelain bonded to precious metal crowns are the most common type of crown found today. All-ceramic crowns are metal free crowns. These crowns are more aesthetic but just as strong as porcelain bonded crowns. The porcelain is applied to a space-age ceramic material forming a metal-free crown that can be used in all areas of the mouth. Gold alloy crowns are made entirely of metal and are very hard wearing restorations. These crowns are silver or gold in colour and are used mainly to restore back teeth in patients who grind and break there teeth, thus requiring false teeth.
Animation showing bridge and implant option to replace missing tooth
Treatment procedure and dentist visits
The tooth will be prepared to the ideal shape for the crown. This will involve removing most of the outer surface, and leaving a strong inner core. A local anaesthetic is always given for this procedure, similar to that for simple fillings. Once the false tooth is shaped, an impression (mould) of the tooth will be made along with one of the opposite jaw. A temporary crown will be placed while the crown is made. If the false tooth is heavily filled then a root canal filling may be advised before the crown is placed as this is difficult to do after crowning the tooth and will also require drilling through the crown.
You will need to have at least two visits: the first for the preparation, impression, shade taking and fitting the temporary false tooth; and the second to fit the permanent crown. There will usually be about 1 to 2 weeks in between appointments. Costs will vary according to the type of crown and material used. A small percentage (upto 17%) of teeth receiving a crown may require root canal therapy. The long term prognosis is closely related to the level of homecare (brushing, flossing diet) carried out by the patient.
False teeth crowns have the shape of natural teeth