NW Smiles, Dental Awards Finalist Finalist for: Best Practice Design & Interior 2010

Tooth Replacement - Dentures, Bridges and Implants

Whether you have just one tooth or if you have several teeth missing, there are many ways to fill the space. The options include; a dental bridge; a removable denture, or a dental implant. All three options will restore function and appearance to your smile.


A dental bridge uses one or both of the teeth on either side of the gap to replace the missing tooth/teeth. This option is particularly good when adjacent teeth have large restorations as they also benefit from having a crown placed on them. A successful bridge will not only strengthen neighbouring teeth but the false tooth looks just like a natural tooth so you can be confident of your smile.

Missing Lower Teeth

Replaced with a Dental Bridge

A dental bridge generally takes two appointments to create. The first is for us to prepare the teeth and take impressions which are sent to the lab where the bridge is made. The second is to fit the dental bridge in place. There are a wide range of materials that can be used to make a dental bridge, the most common being porcelain fused to metal.

There are different types of bridges that you can have to fill a space including;

  1. Fixed Dental Bridge - a fake tooth is suspended between two crowned natural teeth. This can be used to fill in just one space or a number of spaces.
  2. Cantilever Bridge - a fake tooth is suspended by one crowned natural tooth. This retains the aesthetic of a Fixed Dental Bridge but as it only uses one other tooth to hold the fake one in place, it is a more conservative approach.
  3. Maryland Bridge/Resin bonded Bridges - used only for a front tooth/teeth and requires very little if any preparation of neighbouring teeth. The fake tooth is suspended between two natural teeth by metal or ceramic wings that are cemented onto the back of your teeth.
  4. Implant Supported Bridges - this acts much the same as a traditional Fixed Dental Bridge but instead of using natural teeth to suspend the fake tooth in between, dental implants are placed.

At your initial consultation at our dental clinic just off Baker Street, London the dentist will discuss which options are right for your mouth before any treatment is started.


If you have lost several or all of your teeth, you can benefit from having dentures made. Dentures provide support for your cheeks and lips which can otherwise sag once teeth are removed causing you to look hollow and older. Dentures can be supported by your own tissues or can be made on dental implant screws. Implant supported dentures are advantageous as the denture cannot move or come out easily however these are costly and not always suitable. The implants also help in maintaining facial structure.

Implant supported Denture

A full set of dentures are usually made of acrylic and partial dentures can be made from either light weight metal or acrylic. Like all tooth replacement options, the end goal is to leave you with new teeth that look as natural as your own teeth. Just like bridges and implants, the time is taken to make sure that the colour of your new teeth is as natural as possible and that you fully understand the procedure involved.


Dental implants are titanium anchors (usually screw or cylinder shaped), which are surgically placed into your jawbone. Dental implants are essentially a substitute for the tooth's natural root. The dental implant is left in-situ for several weeks to allow integration between the implant and the adjacent bone (known as osseo-integration).

Once the osseo-integration process is complete, the dental implants are restored with a dental crown or dental bridge on top. In cases where all or most of the teeth are missing in the upper/lower arch, several dental implants can be placed, and an implant-supported denture can be made.

Missing Lower Teeth Implant Screws in Place

Bridge work Supported by the Implant

There are several advantages of choosing implants over other tooth replacement options:

  1. They look, feel and function like natural teeth
  2. The adjacent teeth are not prepared/traumatized in any way
  3. Implants are easier to clean (they are cleaned like natural teeth) hence it is easier to maintain a good standard of oral hygiene
  4. Implants preserve bone, so the facial structure is preserved

From the initial consultation to treatment completion an implant takes between 5-12 months depending on a number of factors.

Ultimately, implants feel so natural once placed, that any loss of self-esteem or self-confidence resulting from tooth loss is completely restored.

Opening Times: Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Early mornings, late evenings and Saturdays available by appointment

18 Melcombe Street, London NW1 6AH (MAP)         T: 020 7724 3003               E: enquiries@nwsmiles.co.uk

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