Your teeth affect your whole body. When they’re healthy, you’re healthier too. A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance that they will wear out prematurely, be damaged, or lost. You may also experience headaches and/or jaw pain.

Your appearance and health will deteriorate as a natural consequence of missing teeth. Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss. Bone replacement becomes more complex as time passes, so it is more ideal to have the implant placed at or around the time of extraction. Implants act just like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, oral health and appearance. Your dentist and the implant surgeon will provide you with options so that you can make the most informed decision concerning tooth replacement.


Tooth Replacement Options

You can select from a number of different options to replace your missing teeth – from temporary to long-lasting solutions.

Smoking, diseases such as diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area have been shown to lower the success rate of implant placement. A good candidate for implants is anyone missing one or more teeth, or one who is unhappy with their dentures. Age is not a factor. X-rays of your jaw will be taken to evaluate if it will be able to accommodate implants. Detailed x-rays may also be required to determine if other tests or procedures are needed to place implants properly.

Fixed Bridge

A fixed bridge is a fused set of replacement teeth. For support, it is cemented into position on top of the teeth adjacent to the empty space. The protective outer layer of the adjacent teeth is usually removed or ground down prior to attaching the bridge.

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Flipper

A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”.

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Metal Partial

A less fragile option is a removable partial denture cast in metal and plastic. It is held in place by wire clips. A removable partial denture can be removed and reinserted when required by the patient.

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Denture

The most common solution for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws is complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged and implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.


Schedule Your Consultation

If you are ready to replace your missing teeth with dental implants, please contact Minto Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at (251) 990-5959 to schedule your consultation.