If a tooth is lost it can usually be replaced by a partial denture, bridge, or implant-supported crown.
A partial denture has a false tooth or teeth attached to a plastic plate or metal frame. The denture is usually held in place by two or more clasps around the existing teeth. Partial dentures are relatively inexpensive and simple to make, and can be especially useful when replacing multiple teeth at once. They must be removed and cleaned daily as part of routine oral hygiene practice.
A bridge involves attaching a false tooth to the existing tooth or teeth next to a gap. In contrast to a partial denture, the bridge is “fixed” or cemented in place and does not have to be taken out by the patient. Bridges look and feel quite natural and do not have the bulk of a partial denture.
An implant-supported crown is a fixed, free-standing restoration consisting of a prosthetic tooth (crown) attached to a screw (implant) embedded in the bone where the tooth has been lost. It looks and feels like a natural tooth, and is cleaned just like a natural tooth. Implants can be used to replace multiple missing teeth at the same time.
Every patient is unique and your dentist will assess your individual case to enable a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each option for you.