Treatment alternatives When you’re missing one or more teeth, you have several choices for replacing them:
Wear a partial denture
Wear a bridge
Wear an implant-supported crown or bridge
Unlike partial dentures and bridges, an implant replaces the roots of missing teeth, so it helps maintain the health and shape of the jawbone. An implant holds natural-looking crowns and bridges securely in the mouth without requiring clasps or reducing neighboring teeth. This enables you to talk and chew easily, and it preserves your beautiful smile.
Wearing a partial denture
A partial denture can replace one or more missing teeth. A partial is held in place by clasps or special attachments, and it is removable for sleeping and cleaning.
Wearing a bridge
A bridge might also be an alternative. There are several types, but they are all permanently anchored to neighboring teeth. This requires us to reduce the anchoring teeth, even if they are healthy, and reducing healthy teeth can sometimes lead to decay and root canal therapy.
If you are thinking about delaying treatment, you should know that without teeth and tooth roots, the jawbone in that area gradually shrinks. This weakens the jaw and changes your appearance. The longer you delay, the more the jawbone will shrink, making future treatment more complex.
In addition, teeth need each other for support. Missing teeth can lead to a chain reaction of dental problems, including shifting teeth, increased risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease, and changes in the bite that can lead to painful problems with your jaw joints.