Options for Replacing Missing Teeth

Dental Implants, Dental bridges, Dentures La Jolla

Missing teeth pose far more than cosmetic problems. Chewing is often affected, and so is the ability to speak clearly. Damaged teeth are frequently restorable via crowns or veneers, but some teeth require replacement. Of course, if the tooth is already gone due to an accident, a new tooth is a must. The good news is that patients have several tooth replacement choices. The dentists at La Jolla Family Smile Design discuss various options for replacing missing teeth. 

Missing Teeth

Not doing anything about your missing teeth is not really a smart option. Missing teeth often lead to other dental problems, including the shifting of remaining teeth and loss of jawbone strength. The supporting jawbone structure deteriorates rapidly if the missing teeth are not replaced in a timely manner.

The longer you put off replacing missing teeth, the more seriously your oral health is affected. 

Dental Implants

There’s a reason dental implants are the most popular type of tooth replacement. Implants, made of ceramic or porcelain, look and function like natural teeth. With proper care, they can last a lifetime.

A dental implant consists of a crown, along with an artificial root. A titanium post replaces the real root, and the crown is affixed to it. There’s another benefit to a dental crown. The implant post replacing the root helps prevent further deterioration of the jawbone.

If you’re missing just one tooth, a dental implant is probably your best choice.

Dental Bridges

If more than one tooth requires replacement, dental bridges are a good option. Before dental implants became the most common alternative for tooth replacement, dental bridges were the primary choice for replacing missing teeth. Along with providing a natural look, dental bridges last a long time, although they may eventually need replacement.

Keep in mind that some types of dental bridges aren’t suitable for the loss of a back tooth. The patient must have teeth on either side of the missing tooth in order to anchor the bridge correctly.


Dentures are an affordable and effective option for replacing missing teeth. With removable partial or complete dentures, you take the teeth out at night for cleaning. Dentures are made of plastic and metal.

The only downside to partial dentures is that sometimes metal clasps holding the appliance can be visible in the mouth, although visibility depends on the teeth being replaced.

Contact Us

If you are missing teeth and would like to discuss replacement options, contact the dentists at La Jolla Family Smile Design to schedule a consultation. Please call (858) 454-3044 today.