I'm missing a tooth. What are my options?
There are generally three options for replacing a missing tooth or multiple teeth:
- A dental implant. A dental implant is by far the restoration that is most similar to your natural tooth. The implant in the jaw serves as a new "root" on which a crown can be attached. Implants do take more time for healing, and not all patients are candidates.
- A dental bridge. For patients who want a quicker solution and have teeth on each side of the space, a bridge can be an option. This involves preparing the teeth next to the space and connecting them with a fake tooth or "bridge" in between.
- A removable partial denture. This is a good, cost-effective option for replacing multiple missing teeth in the mouth at the same time.
Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important that you address the space left behind by missing teeth. Not doing so will jeopardize the health of your remaining teeth. When teeth are missing, your entire bite is impacted, and your healthy teeth will start to move and shift. Ultimately, your teeth can become worn or damaged by the incorrect bite, and there is a real possibility of losing even more teeth.