How to replace a missing tooth is an important decision that you and your dentist will need to discuss in order decide which option is best for you.
There are 3 ways to replace a missing tooth.
Implants: An implant functions like a root of a tooth. There is a metal post placed into your jawbone. The implant fuses to your jawbone and then your dentist can attach a crown to the post. For an implant to be successful a patient needs to be in good overall health, have an adequate amount of bone in the implant area, and be committed to thorough brushing and flossing.
Fixed Bridges: A fixed bridge is cemented or bonded to the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth. An artificial tooth is fused to the crowns on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. A fixed bridge is cemented permanently and is not removable. A fixed bridge procedure requires some preparation on the teeth on either side of the missing tooth.
Removable Partial: A removable partial has replacement teeth attached to gum colored plastic bases which attach to a metal framework. This metal framework then attaches to natural teeth and holds it in place. A removable partial can be taken in and out.
All three options to replace missing teeth require a thorough exam with your dentist to determine which option is best for you. If you have more questions about replacing missing teeth make an appointment with your dentist!