Missing Teeth – A Threat to Confidence…and Health

Aug 27, 2021 | Dental Health

With the loss of one or more teeth, there may be more at stake than just your smile. Missing teeth may not only lower confidence…they may also contribute to other health problems. With so many options for patients with missing teeth, including implants, bridges, partial dentures, there’s no need to opt to just live with the gaps.

There are many reasons patients lose teeth, from accidental injury to periodontal disease or advanced decay that necessitates their removal. Should the patient opt to live with one or more gaps between the remaining teeth, the result can often prove problematic.

Into the Gap

Self-consciousness over one or more missing teeth may be one of the most obvious issues for many patients, but it’s not the only one. Many patients may not even realize that when a tooth is missing, an opposing tooth may actually grow to fill the missing space. This can lead to periodontal (gum) disease at the shifting tooth.

Additionally, adjacent teeth can shift laterally to fill space, causing even more spacing problems. Misaligned teeth, bite problems and periodontal disease may result. Add the fact that with missing teeth chewing becomes compromised and food is not as easily digested and you can see that there are many reasons to close the gap on missing teeth.

Fixed Bridge

One option for replacing missing teeth is a fixed bridge, which is a fake tooth suspended between two (or more) healthy teeth. The bridge is held in place by crowns anchored to your natural teeth. A fixed bridge can help put a stop to the domino effect of the many problems associated with missing teeth.  A bridge requires special techniques for flossing, but has the advantage of not being removable.


If your gums and underlying bone structure are healthy, implants are another great option for tooth replacement. Dental implants are surgically placed anchors upon which crowns and dentures can be secured. Made of titanium and other materials that are well-suited to the human body, implants actually help to maintain jaw strength and health as they fuse with surrounding bone and tissue.

Implants also achieve a secure fit which can help patients chew foods, such as steak, which might otherwise pose a problem for denture wearers. They can be used in both upper and lower jaws and have been used successfully for decades. Dental implants require good health, and a commitment to thorough oral hygiene and regularly scheduled dental visits.  Implants have advantages over bridges in that no special techniques are required for brushing or flossing and your existing natural teeth are not needed as anchors.

Removable Partial Dentures (RPD)

A removal partial denture can be a very economical option for patients missing more than one tooth.  Similar to a full denture, an RPD is only worn during your waking hours and can be removed to facilitate brushing and flossing your natural teeth.  Preparation and fitting typically involves minimally invasive procedures.

Decisions, decisions…

We have briefly described some options for replacing missing teeth. Every patient is unique – your health, medical history, circumstances and goals can all affect which choice is right for you.