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811 St. Andrews Blvd, Ste B Charleston, SC 29407

Options for Missing Teeth

Losing one or more teeth can be an overwhelming process. However, your dentist can guide you through it all from start to finish. One part of the process you need to consider is what replacement option is right for you. It is imperative that you choose a replacement quickly to that you don’t experience any negative side effects. 

Over time, your teeth can begin to shift. Not only does this damage your smile aesthetically, but it can also hurt its function. Your teeth rely on the support of each other to stay in place. Additionally, your jaw needs the pressure of all your teeth for stimulation. Without it, your jaw can begin to deteriorate. 

No matter how many teeth you are missing or why, your dentist will have a replacement option for you. 

Man smiling with a missing tooth dentist in Charleston North Carolina


Dentures are false teeth that can fill the void in your smile. There are partial and full dentures available depending on how many teeth you are missing. With most dentures, they sit in place because your dentist custom fits them to your mouth. However, you may use a small amount of adhesive if necessary. 

You must remove dentures every night to soak. This helps keep them clean and gives your mouth a break. If you leave them in, you run the risk of developing gum disease or lung infections. This happens when you inhale the bacteria in your mouth during your sleep. 

Because you can remove dentures, many patients complain that they move around while eating or speaking. Your dentures should stay in place, so you need to talk to your dentist. Ill-fitting dentures can cause sores, leading to infection. 

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a great option for patients who are missing one or more teeth. However, they do need some remaining natural teeth for the appliance attachment. A dental bridge uses an artificial tooth to fill the gap between your teeth. Your dentist will cement the bridge in place, allowing you to speak and eat more clearly. 

Generally, your dentist will need to file down some of the supporting teeth in order to place a crown on either side of the bridge. This helps keep it in place. 

You won’t need to worry about removing your dental bridges. However, you will need to make sure that you floss correctly. Plaque can form underneath the bridge, eventually causing gum disease. Therefore, you will need to floss under the bridge. 

Dental Implants

Dental implants are titanium prosthetic tooth roots. In order to receive implants, you must undergo surgery. Your dentist will place the replacement root in your jaw, eventually adding a crown. 

Unlike other replacement options, dental implants are permanent fixtures that won’t need replacing. However, it is a much more invasive procedure. Additionally, there are three stages of the implant, and you must completely heal in between each stage. While it is a lengthy process, dental implants are the most like your natural teeth. You never have to worry about removing or replacing them.