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To replace missing teeth, you have three choices. You can use fixed bridgework, removable bridgework or dental implants. Each of them has advantages and circumstances when they work best, so let’s look at them one at a time.
In a fixed bridge, the dentist generally caps one or more teeth next to the space where the tooth is missing and then the missing tooth is joined to the caps to create a replacement. The fixed bridge takes the shape of a natural tooth so it looks and feels normal. It is cemented in place so it is not removed at all and does not move during normal eating and chewing.
In addition, if the other teeth are discolored, crooked, or decayed, the dentist can fix everything at the same time. The process can be completed in as little as a couple of weeks and involves little if any discomfort.
Dental implants are a very good way to replace from one to several missing teeth. Dental implants are especially advantageous if there is one missing tooth, the adjacent teeth are perfectly healthy straight teeth and the patient is reluctant to cap a tooth like this in order to make a bridge.
Another case where dental implants are especially helpful is in a case where a patient does not have enough healthy teeth to make a fixed bridge. Dental implants can make it possible to replace several, or even all, of a patient’s teeth with non-removable, natural looking and feeling teeth. (Learn more about dental implants…)
Removable bridgework is another option when there are missing teeth. It can be used as a temporary economical option to replace just a few missing teeth. It can also be used during the healing stages when a patient is getting dental implants. A removable bridge can also be used as a long term method of tooth replacement in a case where the patient does not have enough teeth for fixed bridgework and does not want, or is not a candidate for, dental implants.
Please note that we cannot guarantee that the solutions offered here are definitely applicable to your condition since we have not examined your mouth. However, if you know the solutions that are generally applied to dental problems, you will be much better informed and will likely make better decisions in your own dental health care.