Your dentist can provide realistic-looking replacements for lost teeth. A variety of prosthetic teeth are available for people who have lost one, several, or all of their teeth. If you have even a single missing tooth, you should know that absent teeth have more than just a cosmetic effect. That absence can rob surrounding teeth of support, and compromise your normal jaw movements. If you have a missing tooth (or teeth), your dentist can help you determine what type of replacement is right for you, and restore your smile.
Your dentist can replace a missing tooth with a dental bridge. To insert a bridge, your dentist will first place a crown on each of the teeth surrounding the missing tooth, and use those crowns to keep the bridge in place. A bridge can consist of a single tooth, or several consecutive teeth. Bridges are designed to look like your natural teeth.
A dental implant is not the replacement tooth itself, but a metal rod that serves as its root. The implant is fused to your jaw bone, to provide a stable base. Once the implant is inserted, it can be used to hold a bridge, a crown, or dentures.
If you have lost many or all of your teeth, you can restore your smile with dentures. Partial dentures can replace several missing teeth, and are held in place by hard-to-see clasps that are attached to the neighboring teeth. Full dentures completely replace your upper or lower teeth. For people who are worried that their dentures might lack stability, implant-retained dentures offer greater security. Implant-retained dentures fit over a series of small implants that are placed in your tooth sockets for a strong attachment.