Filling the gaps: bridge, dentures or implants?

filling consult

Missing teeth aren’t fun. Okay, you’re probably better off without your wisdom teeth,but otherwise gaps can cause problems for your gums, for eating and even speaking clearly.

Teeth either side can sometimes shift into the gap at an angle or loosen. And if the gaps are visible when you smile, it can make you self-conscious. You may feel like putting up with the loss of an odd molar, choosing to grind your food on the other side, but once you’ve had a couple of teeth pulled, it’s time to bridge those gaps!


Dentures have been around for a long time. As far back as 800BC, they were being made from human and animal teeth in Italy. They’ve come a long way since then, and are now made from acrylic resin, nylon, or metal. Depending on how many teeth are missing, you will be fitted for a full or partial set. After your teeth are pulled, impressions will be taken. Dentures are often ready soon after your teeth are pulled, unless gums need to heal first. The good news is that you won’t be toothless for very long, but the bad news is that as your mouth settles down, your gums may shrink or change shape, meaning you’ll have to have the dentures relined or even remade. This can also happen as you age, so one set of dentures probably won’t last you a lifetime. Some people never get the perfect fit, so they rely on cushioning pads and sticky gels to hold them in place. Ill-fitting / loose dentures can fall out, and particles of food can get stuck underneath, causing irritation. Despite the negatives, dentures are an affordable option.


In 1965, the first titanium implant was inserted into a human volunteer. The procedure involves inserting a metal screw into the jawbone, at the site of the missing tooth. Afterwards, time is needed to allow the bone to fuse with the screw. Once that’s happened, a crown is put over the screw. The beauty of implants is that they are permanent and totally secure. You can think of them as your own teeth. With fastidious oral hygiene, your implants could last up to 15 and possibly even 20 years. There is a slight risk of complications, such as peri-implant mucositis, a treatable condition where your gums are red and swollen. But strictly adhering to the recommended aftercare drastically reduces the occurrence of complications. Unfortunately, not everyone is suitable for implants; your gums and jaw must be healthy. And as implants are a big investment, they may not be the best choice if you’re having quite a few teeth replaced. As dental implants require invasive techniques, an oral surgeon must carry out the procedure.


If you have one, two or more teeth missing in a row, you can have a bridge fitted.

Fixed bridge
The most common form is a fixed bridge, which consists of two crowns (to fit over the teeth on either side of the gap, ie, anchor teeth) bonded to artificial teeth in between. The downside to this type of bridge is that the anchor teeth must be filed down and root canal treatment may be carried out.

Implant-supported bridge
This type of bridge is suitable for those who don’t have sound anchor teeth. Implants replace the anchor teeth, with artificial teeth in between. This is more economical than having a series of individual implants.

Bonded bridge
A bonded bridge is used to fill single gaps, and instead of crowns being used for the anchor teeth, small wings of metal are bonded to the artificial tooth and adjacent teeth. The advantage of a bonded bridge is that you don’t sacrifice your good teeth, although the adhesive can weaken over time. The choice of individual implants, dentures or a bridge comes down to several factors:

• which replacement best suits your mouth
• the number of teeth you’re having replaced
• whether your priority is cost or convenience

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Al C
Al C

Just left us a 5 star review

Al C June 17, 2024

I came to 34 Dental for a specialist root canal treatment, and I couldn’t be happier with the experience! Shaila is very knowledgeable, friendly, and put my mind at ease. I had a tight timeframe due to an upcoming flight, but Shaila did everything she could to ensure my treatment was completed before I left. Not only that, but they had a TV on the ceiling, keeping me entertained throughout the lengthy procedure which made a huge difference!

hannahd79 May 17, 2024

Great dentist! Very thorough, good explanations. Lovely clean practice and friendly staff 😃 very gentle. Travelled from Lincoln to see her and 100% worth it!

paige dobson April 20, 2024

Amazing dentist. Shaila and the team look after you really well. Always happy and friendly!!

Varun Aggarwal April 10, 2024

There caring and excellent service wouldn’t go anywhere else.Great service .

Madison Cadby March 25, 2024

Very good dental practice! 2nd time I've been and Shaila as always is brilliant. Really took her time and was so careful and precise at looking at my teeth and cleaning them. They were so accommodating and understanding as I needed to change my appointment. Had such a pleasant experience. Honestly felt so welcomed and really looked after which is what you want from a practise. 5 stars! Fantastic experience and would definitely recommend!

A T March 18, 2024

Professional, friendly practice with highly skilled trained staff. I needed a re-root canal treatment and had been advised by a few dental practices (in Birmingham) that it was a complex procedure with no guarantee of success. I was riddled in pain. In my desperation, I travelled from Birmingham to Leicester, having heard that Damien, had carried out such treatments with success. Suffice to say the procedure was successful and more importantly I am no longer in pain. This is hands down the best practice I’ve been to. I would travel from Birmingham to have treatment again at this practice - as we all know finding a good dentist is difficult! Yasmin

Y Mulla March 13, 2024

Top dental practice! All the staff are amazing and make you feel very comfortable. They look after me my wife and my daughter! Daughter being 3 and having her first experience at a dentists, she didn’t even cry! Definitely recommend to all friends and families.

Amit Gadhia March 5, 2024
Devin Karia February 18, 2024

Just joined the practice as a new patient. I left feeling reassured that I had joined a caring practice with friendly and professional staff.

Kate Benyon February 13, 2024

Had 2 visits so far, and the staff are professional, kind and made me feel at ease. Pain management absolutely brilliant...i almost dont mind going to the dentist anymore!! Very happy i moved to 34 Dental :)


Shaila and the team are amazing! Everyone is so friendly, they put you at ease as soon as you're through the door. In all my 50+ years I have never felt as confident in the professional treatment and care that Shaila delivers. I feel so grateful to have such a brilliant dental practice and to know that my teeth are being looked after properly. I recommend 34 Dental 110%, the whole experience of visiting this practice is First Class!

Lynda Smith February 7, 2024

Fantastic dentist! Had such a great experience, very professional staff, clean practice and friendly service. Sunny, Shaila & the team have been amazing, making my treatment very comfortable without any problems. Would definitely recommend to all my friends and family!

Deep Dashani February 6, 2024

Been using then for 2years now for my son and I and I can tell you I have no regrets. From Shayla my dentist to the ever friendly and efficient front desk lady are absolutely lovely and our teeth is healthy

Ogochukwu Nwogbo January 29, 2024

I was referred for crown lengthening and had a really good experience. I'm not nervous of dentists but was unsure what to expect on the day. Viren was great and put me at ease, and the dental nurse (Rashma?) was so reassuring. Post-op recovery was fine, and I followed the clear instructions I was given. I'd absolutely recommend the practice.

Rachel Hall January 26, 2024

I am very impressed with the quality of care and clinical skills offered by Shaila and Sonny. I highly recommend 34 Dental.

Geoffrey Cook January 16, 2024

34 dental practice are 5 star, I have always had 5 star treatment, the staff are very friendly and kind.

SUE MILNER January 10, 2024
Reha Kamdar December 18, 2023
Vadan Ushma December 15, 2023

Had a tooth removed by Sunny. Couldn't have asked for a more straight forward procedure. First tooth removed and less painful than expected. Highly recommended dentist

Daniel Mori December 14, 2023
emma offer December 10, 2023

I had a deep clean on my gums. Informative advice provided before and after the trearltment, likewise my fear of the seat had been acknowledged and I was made to feel very comfortable. Good work to the hygienist team and Dr. Sunny (he truly was sunny on a rainy day).

Trishul Raichura December 9, 2023

Such a great practice to visit. My family are all now signed up and we are very happy with the service and the staff are great, always happy to see you

Paolo Ventrone November 28, 2023

I had a filling without an anaesthetic, following advice from Shaila that I wouldn’t feel any pain. She was right! She showed interest, care, and commitment, explaining what she was doing and why. Ensuring I was making an informed choice for my treatment. It is invaluable to have a dentist I feel I can trust. Thank you Shaila and team.

jayne lewis November 22, 2023

Shaila and the team were incredible! I was very nervous but they reassured me and explained everything they were doing. I cannot recommend Shaila enough! 10000% recommend to anyone who is nervous

Katie Bown November 7, 2023

Excellent practice. I am a very nervous patient after previous bad experiences elsewhere. They are great at helping me relax and talk me through what they are doing step by step so that i understand and have no surprises.

Kate Walker November 1, 2023
Dinesh Kotecha October 7, 2023

Sheila is absolutely amazing. She does a fantastic job. Would definitely recommend. Diya at reception is very friendly.

Maz Aveli Telly October 4, 2023

Shaila and her team have provided the best dental service we have experienced in the UK. Professional, kind, intelligent and flexible to our times.

Sharlene Farrugia October 4, 2023

Fantastic dental practice. I had a number of procedures done and I am very happy with the results. Everything was done with care and very professionally. I have met most of the team and everyone has been great. Thank you so much Daniel, Sunny, Shaila and Viren!

Natalia P. October 3, 2023

Fantastic service. Was able to get booked in easily and refitting of a veneer was simple and straightforward.

Vishal Mashru September 29, 2023

Friendly and helpful staff. Always happy to support with issues. Very happy with the service that is given. Would recommend.

Isabelle Moss September 27, 2023

I would highly recommend this dental practice. From the warm friendly welcome at reception to the caring and professional treatment offered by Shaila and her team, the entire patient experience here is excellent.

Heather Heaton August 16, 2023

Happy to have found a dentist so close to home. Very happy I found them! Professional and make you feel at ease 😊

Naomi August 10, 2023

I started my orthodontic treatment here just under a year ago with Shaila. Very happy with the progress so far! Shaila and the team are professional, friendly, caring and detail-orientated. They have also been flexible to accommodate all my appointments around work schedules. Thank you 34 Dental :)

Syreeta Kotecha July 22, 2023

Organised a last minute check up with 34 Dental Practice, they were absolutely lovely and I subsequently decided to get my teeth cleaned whilst there. They extended my slot to fit this in and did a great job too

Harry Preston June 7, 2023

In emergency I rang the dental practice and I found they were very sympathetic to my pain. Provided me the appointment on the same day even though they were fully booked. The lady who provided me the treatment was very calmed and had lot of patience in treating me. I found the cost of my treatment was reasonable. I recommend everyone to contact the dental practice if you need to sort out your teeth. Thanks to 34 dental practice.

Prafulla Modi June 6, 2023

I have had some implant work completed by Sunny and fillings recently done by Shaila Kotecha. I received exemplary care with great attention to detail. The staff were welcoming and informative and I felt comfortable throughout all of my treatment. I will definitely be returning and recommend this clinic to anyone looking for a dental treatment with a personal touch.

Vadan Vasant June 1, 2023

Excellent service - Sunny is so calming & confident in his work - he even telephoned me the day after the implant to see how I was - I’m not the bravest but no pain - implant went in on a Friday I was back training in the gym on the Monday really happy with the results can highly recommend

My family and I have experienced consistently excellent care from Shaila Kotecha and her colleagues: from cleaning to hygiene to filling replacement in recent months. It doesn't feel rushed so there's time to ask some questions. The premises feel new and clean. Pricing seems reasonable and good value. Highly recommended :)

Jonathan Tedds May 30, 2023
Diya May 24, 2023

I recently had dental surgery at the practice to remove roots left in the gum due to failed root canal treatment (done by a previous dentist at another practice). I had IV Sedation and the procedure was done by Dr Ameer Allybocus. I am very pleased with the surgery and the aftercare at 34dental has been excellent. I can highly recommend this practice.

Helen Berrill April 27, 2023

Great experience! I was recommended to come to this dentist by my course mate. The reception staff and dentist were very friendly, I got a filling which has been good ever since. Would recommend.

Joseph Hume April 21, 2023

Such an amazing experience! Was referred to this practice to get a root canal from a specialist and the result was perfect. The dentist and nurse were lovely and made the treatment much easier to go through.

Annika April 14, 2023

Very friendly practice. The reception staff were very helpful and welcoming. I had a check up and filling with Dr Shaila , she explained each step in detail and answered all my questions! Thank you for taking the time to listen and answer my questions . I would highly recommend this practice for their professional and friendly service!

Sana Fayyaz April 2, 2023

I visited 34 Dental recently for a routine check up and the care and attention to detail I received was incredible. Dr Shaila is a kind, considerate dentist who always puts me at ease. As I was waiting for my appointment I saw the same level of quality customer service from those younger and older than me from Shaila. If you want a high quality service from professionals who genuinely care about your dental requirements 34 Dental is the place to go!

Sonia Ganatra April 2, 2023

I had a full check-up, filling and teeth clean from Shaila. I would highly recommend her for amazing and friendly service. 34 Dental have the most amazing staff and as soon as you enter you are made to feel welcome. The practice is very clean and organised. Thank you so much to Shaila and Sunny for being the most welcoming and supportive during my treatment.

Nikita Ganatra April 2, 2023

My own NHS Dentist tried to remove my bottom wisdom tooth at the end of February. The pain in my jaw was severe and he decided to abandon the process, leaving me with half a tooth, in excruciating nerve pain and an inability to eat. Even the strongest pain killers didn't help. He told me I would need surgical removal and booked me in the following week. I decided that I had lost confidence in him. I had been moved to his list as my own dentist at the practice had gone private, so I scoured the Internet. I could see the excellent reviews for 34 Dental, so I travelled 17.5 miles to Oadby. I'm not going to lie but I was physically shaking all the way. Sonny immediately put me at ease. He told me he couldn't remove the tooth because of a deep infection, he prescribed antibiotics and a date was booked for surgery. This again was delayed further and another course of antibiotics were prescribed. My tooth was removed by Daniel on 18th March. Again I was petrified, and shaking like a leaf as i was already in pain. This time my jaw didn't feel like it was going to fracture, in fact it was painless and I couldn't believe it when the tooth was out. I don't think I stopped thanking Daniel and the wonderful dental nurse who held my hand and reassured me throughout the process. Daniel said I was brave but I didn't feel I had been. He was the superstar!!. He had a joke with me, talked to me and reassured me. Afterwards, yes it was sore, yes I was swollen and all as expected. Recovery has been quick and I can honestly say, that I was in far less pain than when my dentist had removed part of the tooth (the bit above the gum line). I can't recommend this Practice enough!!! I would have given twice as many stars if I could. Thank you to all of you, from the receptionist to the dentists, all of who has restored my faith in Dental Surgeries again.

Heather Robinson March 30, 2023

Very friendly practice. I would definitely be using the practice again and highly recommend it. I had my ortho treatment here.

Good quality care and service. Would 100% recommend.