When we discuss replacing missing teeth, there re three options for replacing them. Implants are usually the first thing that comes to mind, but a bridge and a removable partial denture are also great options.
Implants have been around for a few decades now, but are only in the last couple decades becoming predictable and reliable. For single missing teeth, they are often the best option, but can also be used to replace multiple missing teeth, or to hold a removable appliance in. For more information, click below
A bridge can be a great option for replacing one or more missing teeth, while also putting a crown on teeth adjacent to the site where they are missing. For spaces ajacent to teeth with large restorations or crowns, it is an economical way to take care of multiple teeth while also having a prosthesis that does not need to be removed to clean
Removable Partial Denture
This option, otherwise known as a partial, is the most economical way to replace multiple missing teeth while still providing function. As long as the teeth remaining in the arch have good stability, a partial can provide excellent function. It does need to be taken out for sleeping, but is meant to be used for eating and look good too.
Leaving the space open
Typically, this option is not recommended. Teeth tend to shift around anyways, and when they don’t have a neighbor, will shift into the space left by the extracted tooth. In some situations, such as extracting the last tooth in the arch, patients will find that they get along just fine without their tooth. Only an evaluation will determine if this is an acceptable option for you.