When a patient loses a tooth (or teeth) it is possible to bridge the gap.
The conventional method involves preparing the teeth on either side of the gap. All ceramic, porcelain fused to metal or gold bridges can then be constructed
It is possible to replace missing teeth without preparing adjacent teeth either through a maryland bridge or a resin bonded bridge. These can only be used under certain circumstances which your dentist can advise you on.
If circumstances allow implants are a highly predictable way of replacing missing teeth and are the treatment of choice for replacing missing teeth. They involve placement of a titanium screw surgically inserted into the jaw bone by an oral surgeon. The bone then grows around the threads in the screw (integration). An abutment is then connected to the implant through the gum and a crown placed over the abutment.
An advantage of dentures is that they are a relatively inexpensive way of replacing missing teeth. Where some of the teeth are replaced a partial denture is used. These may be plastic (acrylic) or metal framed (chrome-cobalt). They are dependant on the remaining teeth for retention (holding the denture in place).
Where all teeth are missing a full denture is used. Full dentures rely on the amount of bone left in the jaw to stay in place. In some circumstances (particularly with lower full dentures which are more likely to have retention issues) implants can be placed to hold the denture more firmly in place.