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Replacement of missing teeth

There are three main ways to replace missing teeth. The first is with a removable false tooth (or teeth) – called a partial denture.

The second is with a fixed bridge. A bridge is usually used when there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth.

The third way is by the use of dental ‘implants’. This is where an artificial root is placed into the bone of the jaw and a crown or bridge placed on top of this.

Partial denture

This is a plate with one or more false teeth on it. It may be all plastic or a mixture of metal and plastic. Both types may have clips (clasps) to help keep the denture in place in your mouth. Depending on where they are, some of these clips may show when you smile or open your mouth.

What is the alternative to a partial denture?

The main alternatives are a bridge or an implant.

A bridge is made by putting crowns on the teeth at either side of the gap, and then joining these two crowns together by placing a false tooth in the space. This is all made in the laboratory and then the pieces are cemented into place with special adhesives. The bridge can’t be removed.

An implant is used to support one or more false teeth. It is a titanium screw that can replace the root of a tooth when it fails. Just like a tooth root, it is placed into the jawbone.

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